Stream Global Services has made good on its rent for a decade at the former F.W. Woolworth department store at 146 Arsenal St., which is owned by the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency.
On Tuesday, the agencys loan review committee approved a five-year extension on Streams lease for the 76,000-square-foot call center, along with $250,000 and $150,000 five-year loans and a $564,000 grant to help fund a $4.2 million capital project.
The project will enable the company to hire 300 additional employees, adding a major customer contract to do so. The five-year lease and funding are expected to receive final approval from the agencys board of directors Feb. 7.
Along with the loans approved by the JCIDA, the capital project has secured a $250,000 loan from the Watertown Local Development Corp. and is expected to receive a $1 million grant from Empire State Development Corp. The company also has applied to the Development Authority of the North Country for a $250,000 loan for the project, which will be reviewed in February.
Stream will contribute $1.2 million in equity for the project, and parent company Stream Global Services will be the guarantor for the loans. JCIDA, which will serve as the lead agency issuing the loans, will put forward the Stream building as collateral for loans issued by other agencies that contribute to the project.
Stream soon will finish paying off an $800,000 loan originally made by JCIDA in 2003. After it does so, monthly payments of $80,000 it makes to the agency should drop to about $20,000 based on the money it will owe to the agency over the next five years.
Staffers at the company, open around the clock, offer technical customer assistance for national companies from an array of sectors: entertainment, telecommunications, insurance, software networking and business-to-business cloud computing.
Donald C. Alexander, the JCIDAs CEO, said those savings could position the company to create even more jobs. Stream, which recently hired 200 workers, now has 700 employees. Once the planned upgrades are completed, the facility will accommodate a work force of 1,000. The company continues to hire workers on an ongoing basis.
My guess is that, if we can reduce their monthly payments further, they will be in a position where they can create more jobs, Mr. Alexander said.
David J. Converse, chairman of the JCIDA board of directors, lauded the agencys move to approve the funding package for Stream. He said the companys unsullied track record proves it has a strong financial backbone.
I dont see any other company trying to come here to create 300 jobs, he said. They could have chosen to move this company any place in the world, but they came here for the long term.