JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — A call center company in the roadside assistance business has begun moving its corporate headquarters into the former Kress department store building in downtown Johnson City.
Allied Dispatch Solutions, which employs about 200 people in Johnson City and also has locations in Hancock County, Tenn. and in Canada, purchased the East Main Street building for $695,000 nearly four years ago. Human Resource Manager Heather Boreing said Thursday the move was worth the wait and that the company’s leaders wanted to be in a downtown location despite the challenges of renovating a 104-year-old building.
“With downtown Johnson City growing, it is just exciting to be a part of that, and they love making the old new again and alive,” Boreing said of Allied Dispatch’s leaders.
For now, the company’s certificate of occupancy is limited to the main floor, where about 30 middle management employees are moving in. Later this year, the basement will house an equal number of call seats. Boreing said workers will be housed there when the company ramps up new projects or takes on new clients.
The second floor of the once-bustling department store will house executive offices and a board room, bringing total numbers on site to about 70.
Allied received some incentives for adding jobs, both corporate and floor level, including some help from the Johnson City Development Authority. Executive Director Dianna Cantler said the eventual presence of 70 workers downtown ticks several important boxes.
“Having people working downtown is just as important as having people living downtown,” Cantler said. She said a dynamic downtown is one in which “you fill the streets at all times,” and that those workers will help support other downtown establishments by their presence.