New Castle News

December 27, 2013

Top 10 Stories, Number 5: Refresh to add more employees

John K. Manna
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Delayed by a few months, Refresh Dental finally officially made its move to New Castle in April.

The company moved its corporate office from Canfield, Ohio, to Cascade Center at the Riverplex at the corner of East Washington and Mill streets.

The company searched for new quarters because it had outgrown its facility in Canfield, Ohio, said Kenneth L. Cooper, the firm’s chief executive officer in 2012.

New Castle city officials, using part of a state grant, purchased the building from S&T Bank for $1.25 million, then transferred it to Riverplex Partners Inc. for a dollar in September 2012.

Under an agreement between the city and Refresh Dental, the company was to locate at least 25 corporate employees within one year of July 1, 2012.

Cooper said last week that 63 employees are at the New Castle facility.

He said the firm plans to hire between 25 and 40 additional people in 2014.

Refresh Dental owns the dental offices that it manages in Ohio and Pennsylvania. The company handles the real estate, accounts and all the administrative duties for the dentists.

The company will undergo a name change — to North American Dental Group.

Cooper explained the company now operates from Toledo, Ohio, to Pittsburgh. He said its plans are to expand across the country next year.

“So we felt it appropriate for the name change of the resource center (corporate office).”

When asked how the company feels about the move, Cooper said, “We’re here to stay.”

The corporate office occupies between 22,000 and 26,000 square feet on the second, third and fourth floors of the building, he said. The building has a total of 70,000 square feet.

“We made sure we had enough space to grow,” he said. “So we hope to stay here in New Castle.”

The real estate group that owns the building is seeking other businesses to locate in the building.

A restaurant and coffee shop opened this year on the first floor on the Neshannock Creek side of the building.

Warner Film Center signed a 20-year lease with Refresh Dental this year to re–establish two small theaters and create a third on the ground floor of the building where the Warner brothers opened their first permanent theater.

And as one company establishes itself in New Castle, the future of another in the city is uncertain.

Mayor Anthony Mastrangelo said in November that AT&T notified him of the pending closing of the call center at Cascade Galleria. The mayor said he was told that the 125 employees at the center would lose their jobs in the next 12 to 15 months.

The center processes TTY/TDD numbers, which are associated with text telephone calls for hearing impaired customers.

Marty Richter, AT&T spokesman said last week, “We don’t have any current plans to close the center at this time.”

(Email: jmanna@ncnewsonline.com)