Surrounded by dozens of local business owners and leaders, Royer announced that Allied’s headquarters would finally relocate in the former Kress building at 243 E. Main St. within the next 60 to 90 days.
“We just couldn’t be more fired up. We couldn’t be more excited,” Royer said.
With refreshments and edibles served by the Johnson City Brewing Company, Main Street Pizza and Taste Budz, Royer and his partners Steve Jones and Wayne Abadie toured guests around the first floor of the century-old building, teasing what the future of their business will look like.
Allied Dispatch is a Johnson City-based company that contracts with roadside assistance providers to answer calls for assistance and dispatch tow trucks in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
The business’ main call center, employing more than 300 people, is located in the Borla Business Park in the Carter County part of Johnson City.
“Sometimes businesses wait (to do an open house) until the grand opening. For us, when we do a grand opening, this place is going to be filled with offices, cubicles and working people,” Royer said.
“So this is really the last chance for people to see it before it turns into painted walls, different lights, telephones, computers (and) working stations. It’s a great way to appreciate the history of this building to kind of see it like this.”
On Wednesday, the entire first-floor interior of the former retail department store was stripped bare, revealing walls ready to be painted and shiny wooden floors—plenty of space for Royer to execute his vision.
“There’s still work to be done, of course. We’ll have our signage out front, we’ll have this (first-floor) area out here tiled,” Royer said.
“This particular floor is almost 100,000 square feet. The front portion is about 6,500 (square feet), and this will be where our first 50 employees for our corporate headquarters will work (including) our finance teams, human resources, marketing, accounts payable. It will really be the group that runs our whole corporation.”
What guests saw Wednesday was just phase one of Royer’s visions. He plans to expand his operations to the lower floor during phase two and into the third floor as part of phase three. Royer confirmed his CEO office would be stationed upstairs.
“The city has been great to work with, kind of allowing us to segment it out like that. The building is huge. It’s block-to-block,” Royer said.
“We’ve been trying to do this for about two-and-a-half years. But when you get to the point where you have to put a roof on the building, you have to take the asbestos out of it, you have to redo all the electrical, it’s nothing that you can really handle yourself. So that’s why Burleson Construction has been a great partner for us.”
Allied Dispatch expects to obtain its certificate of occupancy within the next 60 to 90 days, while contractors work to get the building into compliance with electrical, fire, security and sanitation codes.
“You always hear stories that the city has been hard to work with, but that’s not been the case with us. We’ve been really impressed, and we’ve not had any issues,” Royer said.
In 2016, Royer and his partners bought the old Kress building for $700,000 and planned to make a $1.4 million investment in renovations.
Royer’s next big goal is to partner with the city on renovating the adjacent Majestic Park, transforming it into a small greenspace for his employees to relax and eat lunch.
Allied Dispatch is currently hiring to fill out the new headquarters, and while it will start with 50 employees, Royer sees his corporate employment growing to 75 or 100.
To learn more about Allied Dispatch’s employment opportunities, visit https://allieddispatch.com.