UC Merced lease for business accelerator on Council agenda
The City Council will consider Monday night a lease with the University of California Merced that would create a business accelerator center in Downtown Merced.
The Council will meet at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers on the second floor of the Merced Civic Center, 678, W. 18th St.
UC Merced and City staff have been working to turn 5,951 square-feet of offices into an entrepreneurial and innovation center, and provide small business development services in the Ralph Shannon Parcade next to the Civic Center.
The business accelerator would provide new businesses with office space and shared facilities such as telecommunications. Along with low rent, the facilities offer new businesses professional advice, mentoring and networking opportunities. The accelerator is intended to provide intensive assistance to help turn an idea into prototype or product in a matter of months, resulting in rapid growth and a product launch. The Downtown site would include the Merced Small Business Development Center.
“UC Merced researchers continue to work toward solving important problems, whether it’s related to water management or deadly disease,” Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development Sam Traina said. “We’re excited at the prospect of having a downtown presence focused on sharing our innovations with local and regional industry. We believe that this will ultimately expand the economic base of the City of Merced and the entire region.”
“The City of Merced is happy to partner with UC Merced to achieve our mutual goal of boosting the local economy through creative business endeavors,” said City Manager John Bramble. “This lease is one of the partnerships the City has with UC Merced to take advantage of the university’s deep talent pool and further blend the campus with the community. The business accelerator meets one of the long-time goals of the City Council to leverage the creative talent in the community that is a result of UC Merced’s presence into successful businesses benefiting the entire community.
“We want to keep these businesses here in Merced,” the City Manager said.
The 10-year lease with UC Merced is for $1 a year.
A closed session will be held at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the sale of City-owned property at the corner of G and 23rd streets., the site of the former Bernie’s Liquor.
City Council meetings are streamed live on the Internet. A link to the live meeting is on the City’s home page at www.cityofmerced.org. The City will also add the Council video to YouTube for people that were unable to watch it live. These services are in addition to the live broadcast of the regular meeting on Comcast’s Government Channel 96.
The Council agenda is posted online at www.cityofmerced.org and is available outside the chambers prior to the meeting. Request to Speak forms are available at the meeting or can be downloaded from the City's website. Cards must be turned in to the City Clerk in order for a person to be recognized by the Council.