The Macon-Bibb Transit Authority says a 40 year lease for Terminal Station could keep the building from falling into debt.
Mayor Robert Reichert's last attempt to give the transit authority ownership in November ended in a gridlock among city council members.
Some of them showed concern about losing a city landmark, but MTA director Rick Jones says the contract would bring revenue and renovations to the building.
He says, "Federal grants helped buy this building. Federal grants renovated this building, and we need to complete that renovation process. We need to make this building healthy. We need to be able to rent out all this space."
Jones says that costs money, which is something MTA doesn't have a lot of.
Terminal Station only brings in a $10,000 surplus each year. The transit authority receives some federal grant money, but it comes with tight restrictions.
Jones says, "At some point the federal government is liable to say, 'Stop, you're spending money on a building that does not belong to you.'"
That's why Reichert wants to give the MTA a 40 year lease. They already lease the building from the city for three month periods, but Jones says they need the long-term contract to apply for most grants.
"We need to be doing something quick to be renovating this building and encouraging other tenants to move in it," he says.
Terminal Station gets most of its revenue from it's two tenants, Macon-Bibb Workforce Development and Economic and Community Development. Workforce Development now pays over $70,000 a year.
"There is strong indication that workforce development will be moving sometime next year," says Jones. "That will be a major tenant moving out of the building, and at that point, the building will go from breaking even to a little surplus, to a deficit."
Right now, the city of Macon would have to pay any debt on the building, but if the lease agreement goes through, Jones says MTA and the federal government would pick up most of that.
The proposed contract gives the transit authority the option to buy the building at the end of the 40 years.
A Macon city council committee is scheduled to discuss the lease agreement next week.