“MCC’s lease at the Sibley Building expired December 31—but we’ve been trying to negotiate a new lease since March 2011. In fact, in March, we reached an agreement with Rochwil Associates, owner of the Sibley Building, that would have increased our current $3.1 million/year rent by $200,000 in 2012, $100,000 in 2013 and another $100,000 in 2014. In April Rochwil indicated to us that lease terms must be approved by the Winn Companies and directed that further conversations regarding the lease be with Mr. Gilbert Winn.
“We have tried to reach a deal with the Winn Companies. It hasn’t worked—because they are demanding a rent increase of nearly 30 percent. They have offered three proposals:
1. Six-month lease at a rate of $4 million/year with no building improvements.
2. Five-year lease at a rate of $4 million/year with no option for an early termination.
3. 10-year lease with rates beginning at $3.35 million/year and concluding at $3.8 million/year, and a $6.4 million penalty if we terminate the lease in 2015. (The termination penalty declines each year past 2015.)
“The Winn Companies’ proposals are simply unacceptable and not justified by the current real estate market.
“In late December, Winn Companies sent to us a notice of lease termination and a notice to quit the premises. They have also said they're interested in having us remain in the Sibley Building. We believe Monroe County's students and taxpayers deserve more reasonable costs. To pay $4 million per year is simply unacceptable and not justified by the current market.
“At its Feb. 6 meeting, the MCC Board of Trustees will discuss all options and is expected to come to a decision on the best way forward for taxpayers and MCC students. The faculty, staff and trustees of Monroe Community College are in clear agreement that we must put students first as we chart the future of the downtown campus.
“We prefer not to discuss our contract negotiations publicly. We are sharing these facts to correct the Winn Companies’ misrepresentation of our efforts and the current situation.”