WATERTOWN — For sale: Hundreds of pieces of used office equipment once used by employees who worked in a call center in a large Arsenal Street building.
The Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency wants to get rid of the work desks and other equipment before work begins later this year on turning the building into a community and aquatics center for the Watertown Family YMCA.
The lime green, royal blue and off-white colored work stations have sat unused since Concentrix closed the call center, 146 Arsenal St. in June 2019 and laid off its final 232 workers.
IDA officials are trying to figure out what to do with the employee work stations, chairs and file cabinets. They want to make sure that the office equipment is gone before it costs the JCIDA to remove it or possibly have to landfill it.
“Do it easily and get it off our hands,” said JCIDA board member Robert E. Aliasso Jr., adding that the equipment is not going to be worth a lot.
Noting that hundreds of employees worked at the call center, David Zembiec, CEO of the Jefferson County Economic Development Corp. the JCIDA’s sister organization, said he doesn’t know how many pieces of office equipment have been left behind, but four large rooms inside the former call center are full of them.
JCIDA board members suggested contacting area nonprofit agencies or seeing if families doing remote learning might be interested in some of it. They also suggested putting the office equipment on the JCIDA website, Craigslist or AuctionInc.
Board member Greg Gardner compared the situation with a retailer purchasing expensive store fixtures for its store and then getting little money when they try to sell them after the store closes.
In 2018, Concentrix took over the former Convergys operations in the one-time F.W. Woolworth department store building after its parent company, Synnex Corp., purchased Convergys and its 40 operations.
The call center also once was operated by Stream Global Services. At one time, the call center had a workforce of 900 employees.
The engineering work has started for the $18.1 million YMCA project that will include two pools, tennis courts, running track and other amenities.
Construction is slated to start in about a year and be finished in the summer of 2022.
The JCIDA will retain ownership of the call center building, while the YMCA will pay the agency $500,000 for a 30-year lease for the property.
This fall, the economic development agency obtained a $9 million federal grant for the project on behalf of the Y.