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Firm eyes continued growth with new Akron building

Written on Jul 31, 2020

SikichBuildingBy Gary Hunt, senior content editor

A national firm seeking a foothold in Northeast Ohio and a longtime Akron firm looking to grow have found both those things together in Akron.

It’s been a big year for Sikich, LLP: the professional services firm last June acquired BCG & Co., then, last week opened its Akron office in a newly built 34,500-square-foot building.

David Brockman, CPA, is partner-in-charge of the office and was a co-founder and managing partner of BCG. He said plans for the building were in the works before the acquisition, but the addition of Sikich resources has taken it to a higher level.

“Having Sikich involved in this has been a great thing and allowed us to include some additional amenities,” Brockman said.

The building employs many of the ideas OSCPA explored in 2015 in the Feature Spotlight video, “The Workplace of the Future” – as well as in The Ohio Society’s new offices that opened in 2016.

“We spent a lot of time looking at examples of other spaces, including the new OSCPA offices,” Brockman said. “We wanted to have an open feel with lots of natural light. In our prior space – especially for our tech group – they seldom saw daylight.”

Features of the Sikich building include:

  • Standing desks.
  • A cafeteria with booths and high-top tables and outlets for devices. “It’s meant to be a place where people can hang out,” Brockman said.
  • An outdoor patio with a gas grill.
  • A privacy room for nursing mothers or for those who need a quiet break.
  • A new training facility with state-of-the-art audio-visual capability. “We call one side ‘rock,’ and the other side ‘roll’ because the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame is in Northeast Ohio,” Brockman said. “And I can tell you that when you get it cranked up, it really can rock ‘n’ roll.”
  • A full 24-hour fitness center with weights, cardio equipment and showers.

Brockman said the governing principle for the project was growth.

“There is room there for our 100 people plus an additional 60,” he said. “Plus we could add an additional 20,000 feet to this building, which would allow us to add another 100.”

In addition to audit, accounting and tax services, Sikich offers a full range of business services in its Akron office, including technology, investment banking and a variety of advisory services.

Architects and designers began the project with those services in mind, and interviewed staff about their job functions as well as their wishes for a new office. They broke ground in March and finished less than 10 months later.

Brockman said the new office is about eight miles away from BCG’s previous home, which they occupied for more than 30 years.

“We were the first tenant there, and we ended up occupying three buildings because of our growth – buildings that really were intended for small business,” he said.

Sikich’s new home is the first building in a 76-acre office park northwest of downtown Akron. It offers easy access to Interstate 77 and is a shorter commute for most employees.

“It’s been a tremendous change having everyone together,” Brockman said. “Someone was just telling me it was nice to see people she hardly got to see before. Our entire CPA group is on one floor. That’s huge for morale, and it helps from a collaboration standpoint. Meeting in person is so much better than sending email.”

It is also already proving to be a potent recruitment and retention tool.

“I just had someone I didn’t know reach out to me on LinkedIn and ask about employment because she saw our new building.”

Brockman said it was a “very rewarding” project.

“We’ve spent a lot of time creating our culture, and this just helps us bring it together,” he said. “It all boils down to wanting to create a nice work environment for people.”