Thursday, August 2, 2007

A new HQ for InfoCision

For 2 1/2 years, employees at InfoCision have been bursting at the seams at their Bath Township headquarters and 2 nearby buildings across the street on Springside Drive.

InfoCision, which has been looking for a new location to create a campus-like headquarters, will spend $20.8 million on a new 160,000-square foot building near its existing location on 15 acres.

The new headquarters for the 25-year-old firm will include company offices, information technology and call center operations, employee break areas and an auditorium. It will also allow the company to enlarge its employee fitness center and on-site physician program and add a child-care facility for employees.

The company, which specializes in fundraising for nonprofit and Christian organizations and volunteer recruitment, customer care and commercial sales, plans to add another 300 jobs to the headquarters in the next 18 months. About 240 employees will remain at a call center in Green. Companywide, InfoCision employs 3,700 in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

''It took over 2 1/2 years and we went through an exhaustive search to have a corporate headquarters where we can all be together,'' InfoCision founder and Chairman Gary Taylor said. ''Our goal has been to consolidate into one location.''

Company officials, who had other Ohio cities trying to woo the firm away from Summit County, had said they wanted to remain in the Akron area with a parcel of land that would give them high visibility.

Area officials, in turn, wanted to make sure to keep the second largest privately held teleservices firm in the country here. Its current location is in a joint economic development district. Bath Township receives property taxes from the business while Akron and Fairlawn split the income taxes of employees.

''Companies can locate virtually anywhere in the world. Keeping a company like this and having people at the top like Gary (Taylor) is vitally important,'' said Plusquellic.

The new InfoCision headquarters will remain in that JEDD and front Interstate 77. It will be accessible off Cleveland-Massillon Road.

As part of the deal, the city of Akron has a letter of intent to purchase 7.92 acres of land owned by the Summit County Mental Retardation and Development Disabilities Board for $3.5 million to then sell it to InfoCision. The JEDD board will provide a $1.44 million zero-interest loan to finance the relocation of MRDD operations to several new satellite locations. The MRDD, which Plusquellic said had already wanted to decentralize its operations, has 12 to 18 months to vacate its building.

The city of Akron also will purchase 2.73 acres at 286 N. Cleveland-Massillon Road, which currently has an 18,000 square foot building, to sell it to InfoCision.

InfoCision officials hope to complete the new building by mid-2009, at which time it will vacate the current headquarters building it owns. Also as part of the agreement, the JEDD board will buy InfoCision's current headquarters building and remarket it.

Once completed, the employees from the headquarters and the leased space on Springside will move to the new headquarters. The company will have green space and sidewalks for employees to move among buildings.

Plusquellic said while he was pleased to announce InfoCision's expansion, he was sorry that it took so long to come to fruition. The city also purchased land along White Pond Drive, which was another possibility for the InfoCision project. That land will still be used for a planned office park, Plusquellic said.

It was a busy day for Taylor, who was also part of a press conference at the University of Akron earlier in the day announcing that he and his wife Karen had made a significant but undisclosed donation to have the proposed new football stadium named InfoCision Stadium.

With construction to begin in October, the university is continuing to buy up residential and business property on the stadium's 12-acre footprint east of Lee Jackson Field and north of East Exchange Street. UA officials have said they will go to court to invoke eminent domain if they need to.

And the new stadium project does not include retail shops or restaurants, as was once envisioned. UA President Luis Proenza said it was deemed more cost effective to use the space for classrooms.

Over the next two years, the university also will continue to spend at least $375,000 a year to maintain the 66-year-old Rubber Bowl, which the university bought from the city of Akron for $1 in 1971.

Proenza said no decision has been made yet on the Rubber Bowl, but it will almost certainly be sold.

UA officials also refused to disclose the size of the gifts from Summa and from Gary and Karen Taylor, citing their requests for privacy.

The Taylors also asked that the stadium be named for their company and not for them.

Later Wednesday, Gary Taylor said the gift included ''multiple millions'' spread over 20 years. UA named the Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing for him when he initially gave $1.5 million. He later gave another $2.1 million.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This blog is worthless. You copying articles straight out of the newspaper. Why would anyone want to read this blog?