Refresh Dental finalizes plans to move offices
By Jamison Cocklin
Refresh Dental, the dentistry services company with a swath of offices in the Mahoning Valley and across Ohio, has finalized plans to move its corporate offices from Canfield to New Castle, Pa.
In all, the company employs around 400 people at its 32 locations in Ohio and Pennsylvania, said Kenneth Cooper, Refresh Dental’s CEO. Cooper said about 10 percent of the work force, or 40 people, will be affected by the move.
However, Cooper added that no one in the corporate office has offered their resignation as a result of the move.
“We are offering incentives for those employees interested in moving closer,” he said. “It’s only 21 miles, but nonetheless, we want to do everything we can to make this as easy as possible for them.”
Since it was established in 2008, Cooper said the company has experienced rapid growth. Refresh Dental plans on constructing eight more locations this year, with overall growth projected at an additional 60 offices in the next four years.
For this reason, the corporate headquarters, currently located at 3800 Boardman-Canfield Road (U.S. Route 224), had become too small for the company’s rate of growth.
Cooper said extensive efforts were made to relocate somewhere in downtown Youngstown, which was the company’s “first choice.”
“Honestly, it came down to spacing needs; we wanted to stay in the Valley; we’re a Valley company,” he said. “But unfortunately, we couldn’t get a purchase agreement that was in line with our budget and needs. Space is limited, and its tough to find availability downtown right now.”
Although Cooper added that everyone from the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber and Mayor Charles Sammarone was an immense help in the building search, he said the company was searching for 20,000 square feet of immediately available space, with an additional 40,000 square feet to develop, a tough sell downtown considering the specifics of the Refresh Dental plan.
In New Castle, city officials optioned a 76,000-square-foot facility at the Cascade Center, known as the Riverplex. The building was vacant, and according to a memorandum of understanding with the city, the space will be transferred to Refresh Dental for $1, with a stipulation requiring the company to make significant investments in the structure.
Cooper said about 25,000 square feet is available to lease to other tenants, and other portions of the building will be renovated over time. Refresh Dental is scheduled to make the move in October and be in the building by Nov. 1.
The current location in Canfield has been sold to a Youngstown-based law firm, Friedman and Rummell.
With all the growth Refresh Dental projects in the next five years, Cooper said between eight and 15 jobs will become available at each new dentist’s office the company opens. Regardless of corporate’s move to Pennsylvania, Cooper added that the majority of his work force will remain in Ohio.
“I’ll tell you, it’s a difficult process,” Cooper said in discussing the move. “It’s difficult at the state and local levels, with the tax abatements and the municipalities involved; navigating that is very cumbersome, but all the cities involved did a great job at assisting us.”