New Castle News

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June 2, 2012

Dental firm expected to move to city

NEW CASTLE — A dental firm headquartered in Ohio plans to move its corporate offices to downtown New Castle.

A joint press release issued  by Mayor Anthony Mastrangelo and city council announced Friday that Refresh Dental Management has submitted “a non-binding letter of intent” to relocate the offices from Canfield to the Cascade Center at the Riverplex.

The Riverplex is at the corner of Mill and East Washington streets.

Refresh Dental has 400 full-time employees, 50 of whom are in the corporate office and will “potentially relocate” to the Riverplex. The move is expected by October.

In addition, the company expects to create 50 to 75 additional job opportunities at its corporate office within the next three years as the firm expands throughout the mid-Atlantic region.

Current employees will be offered a moving stipend to relocate their families to New Castle.

The city has signed a letter of intent with S&T Bank to purchase the building for $1,250,000 and then deed it over to Refresh Dental. The funds for the purchase will come from a state grant the city received for downtown revitalization.

The vacant building has 73,000 square feet of space, which includes 32,000 square feet of office space and 15,555 square feet for restaurants. Refresh Dental plans to utilize 25,000 square feet for their offices to accomplish their immediate expansion.

The company also plans to provide state-required dental examinations at no charge for the New Castle Area School District.

Mastrangelo said Refresh Dental will market the remaining space for two restaurants and retail businesses.

“I think this is great,” the mayor said.

“If we can bring in some new business, along with restaurants and some retail shops, I think it will be a good start to revitalizing the downtown.”

He noted Refresh Dental is a young company and one that is growing.

Council president MaryAnne Gavrile said the company intends to invest $1 million to $2 million in renovations to the building. She added the state has given its approval to use the grant money for the building purchase.

Noting the potential of new jobs and people buying homes, Gavrile said, “This is a big win for the city.”

City solicitor Jason Medure explained the non-binding letter of intent, saying, “The deal is not complete but they provided the letter of intent to have the framework of a deal in place. And we’re working hard to finalize the deal.”

The company is in the process of seeking tax abatements from the county, city and New Castle school district.

Refresh Dental provides management services for dentists in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania and operates a dental academy that provides training for dental assistants.

An attempt to reach chief executive officer Kenneth L. Cooper was unsuccessful.

Refresh Dental came to the city’s attention through the Lawrence County Economic Development Corp., which had submitted a proposal for the Riverplex.

The development corporation was seeking $1.5 million of the state grant to purchase the building. It was talking with Refresh Dental when the corporation suspended negotiations with the city.

(Email: jmanna@ncnewsonline.com)

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