Following its $250,000 purchase of two wooded acres on Rangeline Road on May 24,CompuTech City, currently headquartered in Lake Mary, is looking to break ground on a brand-new Longwood home for its growing company by October.
“We are constantly growing,” said Patel, who founded the IT company with college friend Saurin Patel (no relation) 14 years ago. “We have a niche within our business in that we only service healthcare, so we were kind of recession-proof when the recession happened. Our first employee is still with us and is about to celebrate his 10th anniversary.”
Sister company Billed Right, which handles patient accounting and revenue cycle management, will be moving to the new Longwood office, as well.
CompuTech City’s employee roster in the U.S. numbers 25 at the moment, with 200-plus overseas in India, but Patel projects a steady stream of new hires. “We have been growing at a rate of 20 to 30 percent every year since we started.”
The steady growth has stretched their present home to the limit – a challenge for a company that places heavy emphasis on both work and leisure space.
“We are a team-oriented company,” says Patel, who likens their business to the fire department in ways. “People call us when something is wrong and we deal with more negative elements – ‘my computer’s not working…’ – lots of frustration. So we try to keep things comfortable and grounding.”
A ping-pong table and lounge area where employees could watch TV and play video games, between 600-700 square feet, were recent casualties of the company’s success. Their present digs total a modest 5,000 square feet.
“We are ready to grow faster and more aggressively.”
The plan for the new Longwood property, an easy walk to the junction of Rangeline and S.R. 434, is to double the current space to 10,000 square feet. But that’s just Phase One.
“The actual work space will increase to where we can accommodate more than double the staff," Patel said. "As we get close to roughly the 60-employee mark, plans have already been laid to start on Phase Two. This will add another 8,000 (square feet), bringing the total to 18,000 square feet.”
Already onboard for the work is Evergreen Construction Management, along with Longwood firm Tri3 Civil Engineering Design Studio and Process Architecture. “[Evergreen] basically brings the entire team; it’s part of the package,” says Patel.
Financing will be handled by First Green Bank.
The Phase One plans include break areas large enough to accommodate Phase Two hires; they will ultimately take the employee count somewhere between 75 and 90. Patel notes the possibility of new collaborators for this portion of the company’s growth.
“Who will be working on that depends on how smoothly this project goes,” he said.
Thomas Krueger, economic development manager for the City of Longwood, is delighted to have the project in the city’s column. The connection was made through Enterprise Florida’s Qualified Target Industry program.
“Tracy Turk of the Orlando EDC completed the agreement for a QTI incentive with Computech City,” Krueger said. "It is a performance based incentive so the jobs and the payroll has to meet the agreed upon levels".
He noted that company reps would be coming in for a pre-development meeting in August.
“We have a quick turnaround here [in Longwood],” he said. “We like to be customer friendly in the sense that if someone comes into our community, we like to turn these things around to allow them to get operating quickly and thus save money in the process," Krueger said. "They are IT; they can go anywhere…. We were able to keep them in the Orlando area and that’s great. It’s a big win for us.”
Patel and his team are looking forward to the move to Longwood.
“We are super excited as this was long overdue for us,” he said. “I think there’s a lot that’s going to happen for us in the next year, and we can’t wait.”