Century Delays Business Center Space Leases For Non-Profit, Church At $1 Per Month

September 9, 2021

After lengthy discussion this week, the Century Town Council delayed action on $1 per month leases for a church and a non-profit.

Leases were prepared for approval for an building (pictured below) at the Century Business Center on Pond Street for Northwest Florida Community Outreach (NWFCO) and for a room (pictured above) at the center Wesley Chapel CME Church. No action was taken after both organizations expressed concern about air conditioning units that do not work.

Under the terms of both leases, HVAC and other maintenance would be the responsibly of the tenant, not the town, due to the low rent.

“We need to have those (HVAC units) working,” Mayor Ben Boutwell said. “That’s just good business.”

The council reached a general consensus to delay action on the leases until the heating and cooling systems could be evaluated to determine an estimated repair cost.

Interim Town Manager Vernon Prather said basic problems could be repaired using the town’s ordinary maintenance budget. If the problems are more severe, Prather said the town could fund replacement units from local options sales tax (LOST) revenue.

NWFCO is a nonprofit that has held several food giveaways and other public benefit events over the last year.

Wesley Chapel CME Church has held church services at the Business Center for several years, without a lease. The church’s Jefferson Street location was heavily damaged — shifted off its foundation — by the February 2016 tornado that ripped through Century. The remains of the building were reduced to rubble after an arsonist set fire to it in October 2016.

Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.


11 Responses to “Century Delays Business Center Space Leases For Non-Profit, Church At $1 Per Month”

  1. William 2 on September 9th, 2021 3:33 pm

    Another example of why Century is in such a sad state, no wonder the town is crumbling!!!

  2. Bill on September 9th, 2021 11:59 am

    The Town Council should auction it off. Maybe it could be a dormitory or like a hostel for people who commute to work at the prison.

  3. Callie on September 9th, 2021 11:53 am

    All non profits need to move into Pensacola and benefit Century and those that need help drive to Pensacola.

    There is nothing but stagnation in Century and that township has been made a disgrace.
    Nothing is EVER going to change there.EVER!
    Never seen such a cesspool in America as Century..sickening town.Sickening represetation

  4. Anne on September 9th, 2021 11:38 am

    Looks like a sad visual example of the Century Town Council.

  5. Chelleepea on September 9th, 2021 10:57 am

    So….my understanding is that the business center was at one time or still a business incubator meaning there was a grant or some financial support from govt so that a startup would pay low or no rent!

    If I’m right, the town should already have funds to make repairs……of course the towns bookkeeping is questionable!

  6. David on September 9th, 2021 10:41 am

    I find it condescending to refer to this shack as a business center.
    The council is nothing more than a slum lord…dont fix it for any reason.

  7. Dewayne on September 9th, 2021 10:39 am

    This has nothing to do with business…its which one can get the best deal for free.
    The town knew for years they are very good about ignoring problems.


  8. fisherman on September 9th, 2021 8:48 am

    So Century is charging $1.00 a month rent and wants new tenant to pay for up keep on HVAC system and other maintenance not a bad idea. Enter mayor Boutwell who wants to repair HVAC system before giving them $1.00 a month rent .Century back at it again. If Century repairs HVAC system charge rent based on fair market value.

  9. Oversight on September 9th, 2021 8:02 am

    One day the town will figure it out. That being, the town can’t continue to “give it away for free”. There must be user fees to cover costs, and it appears that there is a first step with maintenance for a change. For the $1 lease, who is responsible for the electric, water, sewer, garbage, and insurance (because someone will get injured or hurt)? I’ll bet the town does all the time. SMH

  10. tg on September 9th, 2021 8:00 am

    Let the nonprofits bring the building up to standards. Isnt Century broke?

  11. OhYouKnow on September 9th, 2021 7:25 am

    They should not get a break on the rent amount. I dont care if it is a church makes no difference, they need to pay whatever the market is for that square footage, the town should not have to carry them and their expenses.

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