On Monday, about 90 employees with the Davey Resource Group and The Davey Tree Expert Company officially move into their new home in downtown Kent.
That’s when the new Davey Tree building at the corner of Haymaker Parkway and South Water Street opens to the public. The move marks a return of sorts for the firm, which had offices downtown in the early 1900s until 1985 when the corporate offices relocated to the existing headquarters on S.R. 43 just north of Theodore Roosevelt High School.
Joe Paul, Davey Tree’s vice president and treasurer, said the new building stands as a testament to the firm’s growth in recent years.
“Furthermore, it speaks to Davey Tree’s commitment to the city of Kent," Paul said. “The Davey Tree Expert Company is quite excited to begin this historical move and return to our roots here in downtown Kent.”
From 2007 to 2011, revenue at Davey Tree grew from $506 million to $646 million, according to the firm. The company’s stock price rose from $15.80 per share to $19.70 in that same four-year period. And the number of employees increased from 5,600 to 7,000.
Jennifer Lennox, a spokesperson for Davey Tree, said a popular misconception is that the firm is relocating its entire corporate offices to the new downtown building.
The majority of the space will be occupied by the Davey Resource Group, which is a division of Davey Tree. DRG will close its Stow offices to make the move to Kent.
Lennox said some of Davey Tree’s employees at the corporate headquarters will make the move downtown because the firm is growing at a fast pace. Some of those employees had been moved to temporary spaces in surrounding communities as the corporate office became crowded. The new space lets them return to Kent.
Construction on the new building started in October 2011, when workers poured the foundation for 295 S. Water St. The mixed-use commercial and retail space is the first of three buildings planned by Cleveland developer Fairmount Properties as part of Kent’s $100 million in downtown redevelopment efforts.
Fairmount’s second building, at the corner of Erie and South Water streets, will be anchored by AMETEK, which is relocating downtown from its campus on Lake Street. The third building will stand at the corner of Erie and South DePeyster streets and will be largely residential apartments with a restaurant on the first floor.
As anchor tenant, Davey Resource Group will occupy the entire third floor of the new downtown building. Retail tenants Yogurt Vi, Newdle Bar, Panini’s and Insomnia Cookies will occupy the first-floor spaces.
Adam Branscomb, project manager for Fairmount Properties, said the second-floor space will be a mix of commercial offices that are actively being leased.
“We are extremely pleased to turn over the Davey Tree space as the first tenant to occupy the downtown redevelopment,” Branscomb said. “Davey Tree has been a tremendous partner from the very beginning of this project, and we look forward to the successful opening of the rest of the development."