On November 17, the Escondido City Council unanimously agreed to lease its old police department building on Grand Avenue to the San Diego North Economic Development Council. The rent? One dollar per year for up to five years.
Charles Grimm of the city manager’s office explained that the economic council would lease relatively small offices to new start-up companies at a low price. To help businesses get started, the agency will offer secretarial work, managerial support, and legal and tax advice.
“Professors from National University and Cal State San Marcos, as well as attorneys and CPAs, have expressed interest in participating [in our program],” said Gary Knight, chief executive of SDNEDC. “Not only can the advisors give back to the community, but the companies may grow and be full-paying clients in the future....
“If and when the fledgling company is ready to expand and move to larger quarters,” Knight continued, “they would commit to stay in Escondido for at least three years after graduation.” If a company were to break that commitment, undisclosed penalties would apply. However, said Knight, “Research shows that 78 to 85 percent of companies stay in the area in which they started.”
Pictured: Former Escondido police headquarters