Whenever I think of the new office right now, the Tom Petty song “The Waiting” starts playing in my head. Not the whole song, just “the waiting is the hardest part” line over and over. Which brings us to a status update on our big fire station to new office space conversion. So where are we?

The Bids

While most of the prices are in from a variety of subcontractors, we are still missing a big one. Framing and drywall have been fairly elusive for us to nail down for one reason or another. For me, it’s been like seeing a rainbow. It looks so close, but when you reach out to touch it, it dissolves into air. A few times, I’ve thought we’ve got a good number now, only to have it vanish as I reach for it. Ok, not literally, but you get my drift. Waiting for this number to solidify is frustrating because it’s the one holding up our construction loan. Current status: waiting, but running out of patience.

The Permit

On the plus side, I was able to check “apply for building permit” off our To Do list. It was a relatively painless process for me since I have a team of architects here that complete the process regularly. Lucky for me, Janelle accompanied me to the permit office to tackle the pesky questions that made me panic. When asked if we were replacing the roof, I did a really great impression of a deer caught in headlights. Fortunately, Janelle swooped in for the save with the right answer. Whew! Another plus was the fact that we applied for the “Partners in Economic Progress (PEP)” program. Because we qualified for this incentive, I didn’t have to write a large check to submit the permit application. We are anxiously waiting for the permit to be issued. Current status: waiting.

The Incentives

As I mentioned, we have applied for the PEP program, which offers incentives such as waived building permit fees, expedited plan reviews, consultation on Historic Tax Credits, a grant/reduction in property tax and discounted parking. We were fortunate enough to qualify for the program, but it also meant requesting “Enterprise Zone Qualification” forms with the county. Again, not a bad thing, as there are additional tax incentives involved, but it was more paperwork and, of course, more waiting for approvals. Current status: waiting.

When the project is all said and done, I’ll probably say another aspect of the project was really the hardest, but for now, I’m agreeing with Tom Petty.