Slightly later than originally scheduled, Delaware County officials last week secured two tenants for its newest government building.

Slightly later than originally scheduled, Delaware County officials last week secured two tenants for its newest government building.

Minus commissioner Jim Ward, who was absent from the meeting, the Delaware County commissioners July 14 approved lease agreements with two tenants for the building which formerly housed the Hall's Furniture store.

The facility at 2081 U.S. Route 23 North, now dubbed the Frank B. Willis Government Building, will house an Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles and a branch of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

County officials had hoped to have the tenants in the building by July 7. According to Jon Melvin, county facilities supervisor, they will be open for business on Monday.

"The project's pretty much wrapping up," he said.

Under the terms of the lease agreements, the BMV will occupy 1,479 square feet of the county's 33,000 square feet of office space in the facility. It will pay $11.45 per square foot, or $16,928 annually.

The BMV's monthly payments will be $1,410, and its lease will automatically renew after two years.

The highway patrol will lease 1,387 square feet at $11.45 per square foot. It will pay $15,875 annually, or $3,968 per quarter, and its lease also will automatically renew after two years.

County officials plan to fill the remaining office space with a title agency and a public records retention center for the county. The Delaware County Board of Elections also is expected to relocate there from its current offices in the Rutherford B. Hayes Building sometime after Dec. 6.

The adjacent Big Lots store, which occupies the remaining 33,000 square feet of the building, also is leasing its space from the county. To date, the county has received $49,646 in rent from Big Lots.

"In addition to the BMV and highway patrol, Big Lots has exercised their option to extend their lease for the next five years, also," said Dave Cannon, Delaware County administrator.

Last December, the commissioners finalized an approximately $1.875-million purchase of the former furniture store, which it had leased since the fall of 2006.

Including increased costs brought on by changes to original renovation plans, the county has spent about $4.01-million to lease, purchase and renovate the building. County officials have said they expect to recoup those expenses through lease agreements with tenants within eight years.

"It sounds like it's economically viable based on the assumptions we made with renovations," commissioner Glenn Evans said Monday.

nellis@thisweeknews.com