Founded: 1985 by Nancy Miller
What: Raw materials broker and recycler
Where: 1813 South Market St.
What's new: 5,000-square-foot office on Chattanooga's Southside
Source: Pincelli & Associates
A newcomer to downtown Chattanooga has taken the first step toward revitalizing the rundown southern section of South Market Street near I-24.
Pincelli & Associates on Monday finished the move into its refurbished office, formerly home to Serv-A-Comp, that sits amid a handful of older buildings near the 19th Street intersection. The raw materials brokerage company, which trades coal ash to building materials companies, needed more space in which to grow its business, said Pincelli owner Nancy Miller.
"I told them to just be creative," said Miller, who gave contractors Will Ford, Tamera Dillard and Patrick Dugan free reign to experiment.
The move was spurred by a 40 percent increase in revenue in 2012 to $5 million, Miller said. Since the company began the transfer of its operations from Hixson in April 2012, nearby landowners already have responded to the company's beautification efforts.
"There were homeless people and garbage in the back here, and it was completely overgrown so we mowed it down," Miller said. "As soon as we cleaned it up, everybody else around here jumped on board and they cleaned up their spaces, too."
For the exterior renovation, contractor Ford created a wood-paneled exterior with aluminum accents to give the blocky building an upscale look. The wood panels are covered with an epoxy resin to protect them from weather, he said.
Inside, reclaimed wood from Signal Mountain subdivision developments seems to glow in the skylit interior, which features a full kitchen, quiet room and advanced security system. A cantilevered porch is Ford's crowning achievement, using bridge technology to build a relaxing, secure spot for workers to enjoy the afternoon air between client visits.
"The second I saw the building -- it's a square box -- so it automatically looked contemporary to me," Ford said of the open, airy design.
The 3,500-square-foot building will hold six employees, up from three currently, and offers more room to expand in the future, said Beth Hamilton, Pincelli vice president of sales.
"From a cultural standpoint, this area really fits our company's personality," Hamilton said. "If our business is to reuse material in a way that isn't wasteful, it runs parallel to the city's efforts to revitalize this community."
Pincelli, founded in 1985, began as a venture to buy and sell coal. But in May 1992, the company began working to recycle everything from foundry sand to coal ash back into the building material pipeline. Coal is now only a small part of the company's sales, as the business continues to diversify into other types of recyclable products amid a general decline in coal usage.
"We've got clients who have spent 15 years and done nothing but put this stuff in a landfill, and all of a sudden we're able to show them that there's a reuse opportunity out there," Hamilton said.