From the Print

e-HDS prepares local move

“It’s exciting, isn’t it? We’re going to stay in Yellow Springs,” e-Health Data Solutions President John Sheridan said last week. “I’m happy everything worked out.”

“Everything” refers to the two agreements between the Village, Creative Memories, and e-HDS that were needed to convince the healthcare data management company to expand its business in Yellow Springs instead of Springfield. Last month the Village agreed to loan Creative Memories up to $30,000 to alter its Dayton Street facility to suit the needs of e-HDS, who then agreed to lease office space from Creative Memories. The lease is a three-year minimum with an option to renew, Sheridan said.

The terms of the loan from the Village include the option to waive partial repayment if Creative Memories is able to lease some to all of its 20,000-square-foot office space. With the loan, Creative Memories was able to lower the price of its space to $11 per square foot, to match the cost of office space in Springfield that e-Health was considering. The lease agreement for e-HDS will allow the Village to forgive at least $10,000 of the loan, according to the terms.

Creative Memories expects to have construction complete by the week of Aug. 22, a week before the current lease for e-HDS’s space at MillWorks expires. According to Mark Lerud, vice president of operations for Creative Memories, three demising walls will be installed toward the front section of the office space, separating the first 5,000 square feet from the remaining 15,000 square feet. The lease agreement includes furnishings, and common restrooms and some conference spaces that the leasers will share with the approximately 40 Creative Memories employees who still occupy the majority of the eastern wing of the facility. The company also received a $15,000 grant from a group of local business people to facilitate the agreement, which will be used for additional preparations to the site.

“We’re excited to have reached agreement with e-Health,” Lerud said last week.

While the alteration of the space could change the type of business the space will appeal to, Lerud said that the company will continue to list the unoccupied space with its realtor, GEM Realty.

While Creative Memories’ space has been available for several years, the company has leased part of it only once, briefly to Anthrotech. e-HDS had looked at the space about six years ago, but the cost to lease it at that time was more than twice its current price, which e-HDS was unable to justify, Sheridan said last week. According to Lerud, Creative Memories had been preoccupied with the closing of Antioch Publishing in 2008 and the bankruptcy of the parent company, The Antioch Company, in 2009, and had not focused on leasing the office space in Yellow Springs. Over the past year, the company has regained stability and has been able to “be more open” to discussing the wide range needs of potential renters, he said.

Sheridan is satisfied that his company was able to find an affordable space in the community where many of its employees live and prefer to work, he said in an interview last week. While he found better space in Cleveland, where he lives, at half the price of the local offer, he feels the decision was right for the company.

“It’s a mutually reasonable thing to respond to the preference of the people who work hard for our company,” he said. “I’m grateful to both the Village and to the Antioch Company who recognized that facilitating this move is to all of our advantages. It’s a nice victory for Yellow Springs.”

Regarding the business culture in Yellow Springs, he feels that while the village is a unique town, it continues to face serious disadvantages in terms of its relative distance from major highways and airports, its lack of moderately-priced housing for employees, and its lack of high speed fiber-optic communication lines, all of which most competing metropolitan areas, including Springfield, can offer. The fiber optics could be a big advantage for the village’s public and private school and law enforcement systems, as well, Sheridan said. And e-HDS will continue to weigh its need for all of these services to remain sustainable in the longterm, he said.

e-HDS expects to take occupancy of its new space at Creative Memories on Sept. 1.

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