Call center may bring 300 jobs to downtown Ocala

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By 
Staff writer
Published: Monday, July 9, 2012 at 7:40 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, July 9, 2012 at 7:40 p.m.

 

If the Ocala City Council gives the go-ahead Tuesday to begin negotiations, and if the city staff can provide needed parking, Ansafone Contact Centers LLC could bring 300 new full-time jobs with annual wages ranging from $21,800 to $45,000 to Ocala’s downtown within three years.

The company, owned by Randy Harmat, would occupy the building at 101 NE Second St., the former offices of Maslow Insurance, which was a wholly-owned subsidiary of the former Taylor Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. The facility will be used as a call center that offers in-bound and outbound customer services.




“The city will provide a parking solution,” said Melanie Gaboardi, the city’s senior manager for economic development. “They have 30 on-site spaces. They are looking for an additional 70 permanent spaces.”

In addition to the those 100 spaces, the company also would like to have another 140 spaces available within three blocks of its facility.

The 30 on-site spaces are not sufficient for the building’s capacity.

Marc Mondell, the city’s executive director of municipal development, said the solution for the parking is still being hammered out and, if council gives approval tonight to begin negotiations, the solution will be presented to council July 17. He said refiguring the Concord parking lot north of the Concord Building on Silver Springs Boulevard might be a portion of the solution.

“We want as much flexibility as to how we can achieve that as possible,” Mondell said.

The estimated cost of providing the requested parking is $550,000, which would come from the city’s Economic Incentive Program. Without the city’s commitment, Ansafone will not buy the building or bring the jobs to Ocala.

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