It appears a business that got its start in Keokuk just a few years ago is ready to return home. The city council authorized City Administrator Aaron Burnett and Mayor Tom Marion to negotiate a lease agreement with Trident Nature Technologies.
The company is interested in an unoccupied building at 1417 Exchange Street.
Trident Nature Technologies produces natural insect repellents, shampoos, and lotions. The company got its start as VAMA in Keokuk’s industrial park before moving to Montrose.
Burnett said it’s nice to see a growing company return to Keokuk.
“As they grow, hopefully they will take more of the space [in the building],” said Burnett. “Right now, it’s just one level of the labs, but there is obviously plenty of space over in that building. We look forward to [Trident] filling every last square foot hopefully.”
Burnett said Trident is seeking a multi-year lease. He said given the ongoing negotiations, financial terms cannot be released at this time.
Roquette America gave Keokuk the building, which includes office space and laboratories, in 2016 after the company’s unsuccessful attempt to sell it. The city accepted it, despite problems with the roof and some windows, to try preventing it from deteriorating further.
Burnett said the city has been marketing the location for months. As part of the marketing, Keokuk plans to rezone the building. It turns out, the labs were used for years without the property being zoned for lab usage.
Burnett said the rezoning should be completed before Trident moves into the building.
Several aldermen asked if the lease money could go towards renovating the building. Burnett said that was a possibility.