From the Print

Up to the wire for eHDS

The deadline for a lease agreement between e-Health Data Solutions and Creative Memories was Wednesday, July 13. As of Tuesday evening, July 12, the two businesses still had not signed a contract, largely due to unresolved details on an offer the Village of Yellow Springs made last week to help Creative Memories finance the deal.

“The unsettled nature of this issue puts any agreement with Creative Memories and eHDS in doubt,” Roi Qualls, one of e-Health’s three principal owners, said in an interview on Tuesday. Qualls is the only principal who lives in Yellow Springs.

Last week the Village offered to loan Creative Memories $30,000 to divide the 20,000 square feet of class A office space at its Dayton Street facility into a portion that e-Health could lease. The Village agreed to forgive the loan to Creative Memories over three years provided its lessee, e-Health, could provide a certain number of local jobs over that period. As an additional incentive, last week a small group of local business owners offered a $15,000 grant to Creative Memories at the signing of the lease with e-Health.

E-Health leaders have said that they expect their business to grow by at least 25 percent over the next three years. The company currently employs a total of 20 people, 12 of whom work in the village. Most of the growth, according to Qualls, is expected to occur locally.

Village economic sustainability coordinator Sarah Wildman, who has been the principal negotiator for the Village, said on Tuesday that the chances were good that the Village would have an agreement signed by July 13. The Village is currently working almost exclusively with Creative Memories, said Wildman, who is “trying to come up with something that protects the Village and also is attractive to Creative Memories.” The $30,000 loan remains on the table, but the terms “may have changed a little,” Wildman said.

“I feel confident that everybody wants this to work out…I’m quite confident that we’ll have something by tomorrow.”

The deadline for reaching agreement is firm, according to Qualls. Attorneys for e-Health are currently reviewing lease terms for a potential space in Springfield and the Creative Memories space, which has as a condition the alteration of the space. While Qualls and several of the local employees have said that they would like to remain in Yellow Springs, moving is still a viable option.

“The company asked me to do everything I could to find a place in town, and I did that,” Qualls said on Tuesday. “If the community isn’t ready for that, I still have a business to run, and I’ll just run it from seven miles up the road.”

Qualls understands that each party, including eHDS, Creative Memories and the Village, has its own needs and responsibilities, and that none can judge the others’ decisions. But the Creative Memories space that has sat largely vacant since 2008 is “really a community problem” that could be addressed now, with the options that present themselves now, he said. The village may not get this particular opportunity again for a while, he said.

To read about the outcome of the triangular business deal, go to www.ysnews.com.

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