AKRON—Specialty chemical company Gabriel Performance Products L.L.C. opened the doors of its newly relocated headquarters in Akron Dec. 5.
The office previously was in Ashtabula, where the company operates a manufacturing facility.
The new headquarters, in the AES Building in downtown Akron, houses the executive staff, human resources, accounting, information technology and the supply chain, Gabriel CEO Seth Tomasch said. Many of the company's administrative staff moved from the Ashtabula office, though some chose not to relocate.
The Akron office opened with about 12 employees, including five new hires from the area, Tomasch said.
Gabriel's production plant will remain in Ashtabula, where a research and development department also operates, he said. That site employs about 60 people.
Gabriel relocated its headquarters because it was looking for more of an urban area to provide greater access to its customer base and a strong workforce, as well as proximity to hotels and airports, Tomasch said.
Akron, the company said, fit the bill.
An added bonus for Gabriel was the proximity to the University of Akron and its corrosion engineering program, he said. The majority of Gabriel's business is in coatings and adhesives, which makes UA researchers and testing capabilities something that could be good resources for the company.
"The university has some crazy, cool testing capabilities," he said.
The city of Akron pledged an estimated $60,000 in performance-based relocation assistance for Gabriel to be paid over the next years, said city press secretary Ellen Lander Nischt. That represents 1 percent of Gabriel's new Akron-based payroll for those years.
Tomasch said the Akron office could see more hires in the future.
In January, Gabriel acquired InChem Corp.'s Phenoxy Resin business in Rock Hill, S.C. That operation serves as a second production plant and has its own R&D department.