The Douglas County Commission on Wednesday approved a 25-year lease agreement with the Lawrence-Douglas County Bioscience Authority to operate the former Oread Labs building.
The City Commission recently approved the $2.9 million purchase of the building near Bob Billings Parkway and Wakarusa Drive. A portion of the building will house the Lawrence-based drug development firm CritiTech, and the authority will lease the remainder of the space to other companies.
County Commissioner Mike Gaughan said the purchase of the building and leasing it to the authority is an “investment that the community can be confident in.” He said the agreement is designed to attract more bioscience businesses to the area, as well as allow local businesses to expand.
The city and county will equally share the purchase cost of the building, which will be financed through bonds.
As part of the lease, the authority’s rent payments will increase on a graduated scale, from $12,500 yearly for the first 10 years to more than $100,000 a year toward the end of the lease. The total amount the authority will pay through the lease is about $4.4 million, and the authority has the option to purchase the building and property during the lease period.