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Strongsville software-payroll firm to occupy former Medical Mutual building on Ohio 82

November 27, 2018

Strongsville software-payroll firm to occupy former Medical Mutual building on Ohio 82

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio – Foundation Software Inc., a Strongsville seller of software and payroll services targeting the construction industry, will move its headquarters into the former Medical Mutual of Ohio building off Ohio 82, across from SouthPark Mall.

The company will become part of Royalton Collection, a proposed office-retail development by Somera Road Inc., a New York-based firm.

“This is a homerun, to backfill that vacant office space,” Brent Painter, Strongsville’s economic development director, told City Council Nov. 20. “Foundation Software is one of the fastest-growing software-development firms in Northeast Ohio.”

Last week, city council awarded Foundation Software a Job Creation Grant for relocating its headquarters while staying in Strongsville. The company, which now employs 300, plans to add 40-50 new full-time jobs by 2019.

The grant, given annually for 10 years, will equal 30 percent of Foundation Software’s new payroll, according to Mike Ode, company president.

According to Foundation Software’s grant application, the company will add $2.2 million to its existing $17.4 million payroll, but Painter said that amount applies only to the first year of the grant agreement.

“Each year that number grows, and the company anticipates adding over $13 million in new payroll within the next five years,” Painter told cleveland.com in an email.

Under the city’s Job Creation Grant guidelines, a company already in Strongsville must, within three years, create at least 30 new full-time jobs and generate at least $6 million in new payroll to qualify for a grant.

The three-story, 125,000-square-foot office building has been vacant since 2016, when Medical Mutual relocated to another site in Strongsville. Foundation Software is buying the building.

“The deal is not officially closed, but we expect it to happen over the next couple of days,” Ode told cleveland.com Tuesday.

Ode, whose uncle Fred Ode is Foundation Software’s owner and CEO, said his company will invest more than $3 million in renovating the office building. Improvements will include a new fitness center, recreation and locker rooms, heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, boilers, lights, carpet, paint and roof.

Total investment is expected to reach $11.5 million, including the property purchase, according to Foundation Software’s grant application.

Meanwhile, Foundation Software will keep operating its existing 48,000-square-foot headquarters on Foltz Parkway as a second Strongsville location. The company, according to its website, also has offices in Phoenix, Charleston, Austin, Texas and Fort Meyers, Florida.

Ode said Foundation Software will likely let go a third Strongsville building on Drake Road.

Ode said the company needs more office space because its revenues have grown by 18 percent-20 percent annually for seven consecutive years. He said the Medical Mutual site became more attractive when the lot was split into three parcels, which lowered the price. Somera Road owns two of the parcels, while Foundation Software will own the third.

“It’s a challenge to find office space of this capacity,” Ode said.

So far, Royalton Collection has two known occupants – Foundation Software and Panera Bread, which will relocate about 1,400 west from its existing location at 17090 Royalton Road.

Ian Ross, founder and principal of Somera Road Inc., said he has signed additional retail tenants for Royalton Collection but wasn’t ready to identify them Tuesday.

Earlier this year, Ross said construction of Royalton Collection was scheduled to start in August or September 2018. That timeframe has been changed to early 2019.

Joe LeMense, vice president of asset management with Somera Road, said his firm was excited that Foundation Software is part of Royalton Collection.

“They bring an energy that aligns perfectly with the live, work and play environment we seek to foster at the center,” LeMense said. “Their decision to expand in Strongsville is a huge win for the community and we are pleased to be a small part of their growth.”

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