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Chattanooga's biggest accounting firm is leaving its longtime home and shifting its downtown offices into one of the city's oldest buildings.

By the numbers

* 1898: Year Miller Building was raised
* 40,000: Square feet Elliott Davis Decosimo is leasing in Miller Building
* 1983: Year Joseph Decosimo and Co. moved into Tallan Financial Center

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Elliott Davis Decosimo is moving its offices into the Miller Building at Broad and Seventh streets.
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The Tallan Financial Center in downtown Chattanooga.

Elliott Davis Decosimo is moving its offices into the Miller Building at Broad and Seventh streets. The firm has been located for more than 30 years a few blocks away at Tallan Financial Center at M.L. King Boulevard and Carter Street.

"It's going to be exciting," said Nick Decosimo, the company's Chattanooga office managing shareholder. "The young people are excited. We're moving into an old building, but you can do great things with a blank slate."

The accounting firm will occupy more than 40,000 square feet in the historic Miller Building, which dates to 1898.

The company is leasing 32,000 square feet on the first floor where it will put all its professional staff, Decosimo said.

"We always wanted to get everyone on one floor," he said, noting that when employees work on different floors, they're sometimes not talking to one another.

The firm's administrative personnel will locate on the building's fourth floor, Decosimo said.

The Miller Building, which held Miller Brothers department store for many years, was bought by engineering firm Mesa Associates nearly four years ago from insurer BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee for $5.5 million.

David DeVaney, president of NAI Charter Real Estate Corp., said Elliott Davis Decosimo is leasing about a floor and a half of the red-brick structure, which will be full after the move.

The space is undergoing a complete renovation, including modern heating and air-conditioning and technology, he said.

"That was a big asset in getting Decosimo to come to the building," said DeVaney, whose company represented Mesa.

Decosimo said plans are to make the move in late June. He said the first floor also will hold training and reception areas.

"It makes it easier on the clients," he said.

Elliott Davis Decosimo was formed last year with the merger of Joseph Decosimo and Co. of Chattanooga and Elliott Davis of Greenville, S.C. The combined firm emerged as No. 28 on Accounting Today's top 100 firms list.

Elliott Davis Decosimo has about 140 people in Chattanooga. The merged firm has more than 800 employees working out of 17 offices.

DeVaney said there remains sizable chunks of downtown office space for lease, including in the Tallan, which was built in 1982, and the adjacent UBS building, which was built in 1979 and until last year was known as the Krystal Building for its anchor tenant. Other downtown structures such as the Liberty Tower, Chattanooga Bank building and the former BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Gold Building also have major space available.

"I'd like to see new companies come into Chattanooga and expand into downtown," he said.

DeVaney said the proposed re-purposing of the Maclellan Building on Broad Street from office to apartments is "a smart reuse of that property."

Contact Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6318.

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