After months of looking, the Provo/Orem Chamber of Commerce may have found its new home - if the price is right.
The chamber board of directors has voted to support moving the chamber office to the old Utah County Building on Center Street in Provo as soon as the move is feasible."I would love to see . . . the chamber have its own business complex," chamber president Steve Densley said. "But the County Building would be an excellent choice. I am not opposed to being at the County building."
Currently the chamber is housed adjacent to the SCERA theater, 777 S. State. But plans to build a cultural center and extend SCERA will mean loss of the chamber offices.
"No pressure has been placed on us from the SCERA," Densley said. "But they are making us aware that they will move (on the project) eventually. The other day someone was measuring the building for moving."
The chamber has been looking for some time at property on which to build offices along the Provo-Orem border on the University Parkway, but the process to purchase the land has been moving slowly, Densley said.
The major concern for the chamber is the rental costs at the County Building.
"We have negotiated a number of prices," Densley said. "They may have to come down in price. We have a good deal where we're at."
But County Commissioner Malcolm Beck said the chamber would receive fair market value or better.
"The building is ready and it has been offered to them," Beck said.
The chamber would likely be charged what the state courts are being charged, $10 per square foot, which includes maintenance and upkeep, said Beck.
"We would like to know (their decision) as soon as possible," Beck said. "Whoever goes in, we will have to remodel for them. If they (the chamber) get right on it they could be in by January."
Beck said other government entities may possibly be interested as well, including the Moutainlands Association of Governments, the housing authority and other agencies.
"Having the chamber move to the County Building would be compatible with what is being planned for the building," Beck said. "It's up to the chamber to make their decision."
Other agencies planning to move to the County Building include the Utah County Travel Council, Utah County Film Commission and Utah Valley Economic Development Association.
Provo Mayor Joe Jenkins, who serves on the chamber's board of directors, wrote in the chamber's recent newsletter, "It makes all the sense in the world to have all the organizations (the chamber and Travel Council) tied together. A lot of duplication of effort can be solved by being in the same location," he said.
Although Densley would like a location close to both cities, he is confident that the business community of both cities would support the Provo location.
"We have been in Orem six years," Densley said. "Provo has been good to the Orem businesses, and most people have realized over last few years that we are just one large business community."