For the moment, the county is veering from the path of constructing a new government center at the Brooksville-Tampa Bay Airport Industrial park. They will temporarily lease an 18,000 square foot building from Dennis and Pamela Wilfong also located at the Airport Industrial Park (15470 Flight Path Dr.) for several government offices being displaced by the courthouse expansion project. The leased building will house County Administration, Human Resources, Public Information, Purchasing and Contracts, Office of Management and Budget, and Fire & Emergency Services Administration. County Administration and other departments are losing their current location at the county courthouse with the courthouse expansion project. Currently, the expansion of the courthouse is a project under design, with over 60% of the design plans completed. County Administrator Jeff Rogers expects to go out for bids for construction next summer.
For over a year, the county has been considering the construction of a new 104,000 square-foot government center at the airport industrial park. They petitioned the FAA requesting a land release of an 18-acre site at the airport in Dec. 2019.
The new government center was listed as an unfunded Five Year Capital Improvement project in September of 2020 (specifying $41 million unfunded), yet commissioners and the county administrator expressed during the Oct. 27, 2020 meeting that perhaps taking another look at empty retail space may be the way to go.
County Administrator Rogers remarked, “In the end, we’ll figure out where the government building needs to be at-- if anywhere. My real goal is to probably not to build a government building. I really think a lot of these retail dinosaurs in the community- my thought is to use one of these eventually.”
Commissioner Allocco explained that as a board they made a decision to start moving forward to construct a building because “there were no options.”
“And now, as options are opening up, we’re changing the pathway, trying to be more responsible, as responsible as we can to the taxpayer and still fill those needs,” stated Allocco.
Chairman Mitten commended the administrator. “The administrator and staff are saving the taxpayers of Hernando County tens of millions of dollars… and they’re also providing the space needs for the court system.”
Commissioner Champion said he is glad they are going in this direction instead of building something new. He remarked that he has been in favor of using retail space “since day 1” and spoke to Rogers several times about it.
“I said it doesn’t have to be a fancy government building. We don’t have to spend $80 million.”
The office space lease at 15470 Flight Path Drive has an initial five (5) year term with one term of three (3) years option for renewal. The lease commencement date is January 1, 2021 and expiring January 1, 2026. The monthly minimum rent is $21,323.25 for year one.