They are searching for
eateries to locate on the first floor.
By LAURE CIOFFI
VINDICATOR PENNSYLVANIA BUREAU
NEW CASTLE, Pa. — It’s been more than 20 years since the old Troutman’s Department store closed its doors to customers and the three-story building was boarded up.
But in the last few weeks, the red-painted plywood boards have been removed from the window frames and work has started on the inside of the building.
“We started demolition a week ago. We are going to shell it out and take it back to ground zero,” said Jason George, vice president of Cedar Tree Management, the company that owns the building.
Cedar Tree will renovate the building in preparation for the relocation of InfoCision Management Corporation’s New Castle operations. InfoCision is the second-largest, privately held telemarketing service company and is a leader in customer care services, commercial sales and marketing for a variety of Fortune 100 companies and smaller businesses.
InfoCision has been located in Cascade Galleria for nearly six years, said Steve Brubaker, senior vice president of corporate affairs. The company had been searching for a better location and more visibility, he said.
They expect to move into their new offices on the second and third floor of the former department store in April, he said.
All current employees will move to the new facility and another 100 will be hired, he said. They will employ about 400 people in three call centers that will take inbound, outbound and sales calls for the company’s clients, Brubaker added.
The move allows them to have a state-of-the-art fitness center as well as an on-site physician’s office for employees, he said. Brubaker noted this is part of a corporatewide health and wellness initiative for InfoCision.
George said Cedar Tree also is renovating the first floor and is looking for eateries interested in locating in the building. He expects those food businesses will service the InfoCision employees.
The building is at the corner of Croton Avenue and East Washington Street, across from a new transfer station built recently by the New Castle Transit Authority.
According to George, work on the roof and other masonry repairs was done several years ago to the old department store building. They are gutting the interior and replacing all mechanical systems in the building.
The building was constructed sometime from 1911 to 1913 and had housed The New Castle Dry Goods Company, a locally owned department store before the regionally owned Troutman’s Department Store took over. It was the first commercial building downtown to have electricity, according to Lawrence County Historical Society records.