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WIC starts marketing campaign

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Watertown Industrial Center officials are not sure whether prospective tenants have any idea what the Starbuck Avenue facility is all about anymore.

It’s been years since the WIC Local Development Corp. has put together a marketing and advertising campaign to try to lure tenants. That will change.

William J. Soluri, the industrial center’s site manager, made a presentation to the WIC board Tuesday, spelling out what he plans to do to let prospective tenants know the facility exists and has space to rent.

“I just want them to know who, what we do and what we are,” he told the board.

Taking “a low-cost approach,” Mr. Soluri has put together an ad he wants to place in local publications and in the Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce 2014 membership directory and through word of mouth and social media.

With a slogan of “The place to start, to grow, to expand your business,” the ad features a photo of the center and spells out that tenants pay “lower rates below market value” and that it is willing “to build to suit.”

The WIC board also plans to organize a marketing campaign to help Mr. Soluri with his efforts.

WIC runs a business incubator in a series of former New York Air Brake buildings at 800 Starbuck Ave. It offers manufacturing, office, storage and warehousing space. With 19 tenants and 155 full-time jobs, the WIC has about 38,000 square feet of space available.

The marketing campaign follows a troublesome time for the WIC, as it evicted one of its major tenants, Junction Boyz, on Oct. 25.

The defunct auto body and stereo business owes $274,370.01 in rent, late charges and utilities, and on a loan for paint equipment, according to court documents.

The eviction leaves 30,000 square feet of space vacant.

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