Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

December 4, 2012

Terrus to assist KVA in marketing campus

Steve Woodhouse
Journal-Express

Knoxville — The Terrus Marketing Group and the Knoxville Veterans Alliance (KVA) are officially working together to market the Knoxville VA campus. The VA is asking the KVA to get firm commitments from a "viable" subtenant, or group of subtenants, before the 75-year enhanced use lease will be signed. 

"We're excited to be able to partner with KVA," John Bergman with Terrus said. He believes the 163-acre, 39-building campus provides a great opportunity to not only reuse the existing facilities on the campus, but for expansion. 

Terrus intends to market the property. As part of TCM Worldwide, Terrus has the ability to market the campus to firms all over the world. Bergman does not expect all of the expansion and development that will occur in Knoxville to come from local sources. 

"This is going to be a unified effort between Terrus and the KVA," KVA partner James Washington said. "We're going to utilize the services of local real estate agencies as well." 

Washington said that the final lease between the KVA and VA will not be signed until there is cash flow coming into the KVA from subtenants. The other terms of the lease between the VA and KVA are "pretty much set," Washington said. The VA's requirement of securing viable subtenants is an approach with which Washington agrees. 

A sign has been erected on the campus, along Pleasant Street, across from the former Child Care Center, as a symbol of confidence in Washington's eyes. It should help demonstrate to the community that the project is moving forward, and that the partnership with Terrus is the first of many professional relationships to come to the KVA. 

Knoxville City Manager Harold Stewart said the new partnership is a positive step forward. He welcomes the expanded presence of Terrus in Knoxville and believes this will provide a way to better market the campus and the community. 

The success of Terrus' marketing strategy could be assisted with the passage commercial property tax reform in the coming legislative session, according to Bergman. He is hopeful the Legislature is able to reach this agreement. 

Though the campus will be marketed, the community-based outpatient clinic (CBOC) remains in Building 1, and will continue to be there for the immediate future. Maureen Nichols is working on the CBOC project. Paperwork remains on the desk of Secretary of Veterans Affairs General Eric Shinseki, awaiting his signature. When Shinseki signs the paperwork, the design and bid processes can move forward. The VA believes the CBOC will remain in Building 1 at least until 2014, but Nichols hopes the new CBOC will be constructed and opened sooner.