BrandMuscle Move Means Loss of Young Professionals
150-employee company will move downtown
BrandMuscle’s departure from Beachwood means that 150 employees — and their tax revenue — will go to Cleveland.
The company announced this month that they would move to Cleveland, possibly by November.
The move follows Cleveland venture capital group The Riverside Co.'s acquisition of the marketing software development company.
But the departure also means that the city has lost a young group of employees — the kind that work at the high-tech companies Beachwood and other cities strategize to attract.
“There’s definitely a synergy there,” said the City of Beachwood's Economic Development Director Jim Doutt.
Cities that are attractive to young professionals — places that are walkable, vibrant, have other young professionals — are attractive to the high-tech, rapidly growing companies that employ younger crowds, said Doutt.
“If you’ve got those types of elements there in that community, it’s just another thing you add to the plate,” he added.
To be clear, no one is alleging that BrandMuscle, whose employees' ages average 32 years, is leaving because Beachwood is not attractive to its employees.
In 2012, the City of Beachwood has approved plans for a luxury apartment complex to be built in Commerce Park — the city’s office hub — and a trendy hotel to be built in the Chagrin Highlands. Both establishments are specifically geared toward young professionals.
And BrandMuscle’s roots are here. CEO Phil Alexander started the company in a business incubator in Boston in 2000, but quickly moved it to Beachwood, where it’s been ever since.
But the growing company needed space. The company’s Director of Marketing Lori Alba said that their 30,000-square-foot space at 3750 Park East Drive is landlocked. The city could not find the company another building that suited their needs.
So BrandMuscle looked in several Northeast Ohio communities and settled on downtown.
In the Diamond Building at 1100 Superior Ave. in Cleveland, BrandMuscle will occupy nearly 42,000 square feet with the option to expand to another 10,000 square feet.
Alba said that a downtown location was attractive to their young employee base, and that, in fact, many employees will be moving to places in or close to downtown after the move.
Doutt is confident that Beachwood will recover the loss.
“Beachwood is a great place to do business,” he said. “I’m very comfortable that we’ll be able to attract business to fill those spots. But when you’re attracting high-tech businesses, it’s not like waving a wand.”