By Jim Mackinnon
Beacon Journal business writer
Sequoia Financial Group and accounting firm Cohen & Co., related businesses in downtown Akron, needed room to grow.
And the end of a 10-year lease was approaching, recalled Tom Haught, founder and president of the Sequoia financial planning firm.
The businesses looked elsewhere in downtown Akron and explored space in Richfield. They looked at leasing and they looked at buying office space.
Today, they celebrate the grand opening of new offices at 3500 Embassy Parkway in Fairlawn, about a week after moving in.
The building, which once housed a laboratory and offices, provides easy access for Sequoia and Cohen clients who live in the greater Akron area, from Canton and as far north as Cleveland, Haught said.
“It allows us to put all the Sequoia people together,” he said. “It makes it easier for clients to come see us.”
Sequoia and Cohen have a significant partnership as well as common shareholder ownership, Haught said.
The two businesses decided it made sense to place their employees under a common roof. Sequoia has 38 employees; adding Cohen brings the total up to 75 to 80 people.
The 30,000-square-foot Embassy Parkway site was vacant when they initially looked at it, Haught said. They bought it in February, hired an architect and general contractor and started renovations in July.
“We gutted the whole building,” Haught said. “It allowed us to design the building the way we wanted.”
The firms spent “seven figures” on the renovations, he said. The design is intended to be employee friendly, help staff collaborate and enhance creativity, he said.
Technology was also upgraded, including a significant increase in internet bandwidth, he said.
“We think we’ve done some interesting things with audio visuals and technology,” Haught said. “We put a fair amount of money into technology.”
There’s room to grow as well, he said. Cohen & Co. and Sequoia are using about 22,500 of the 30,000 square feet available.
“We feel we have room for 110 in this building,” Haugh said.
Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or firstname.lastname@example.org.