Shindigz is bringing the party to the heart of the city.
The national online party supplies retailer is moving its corporate headquarters into Harrison Place, a historic, five-story building on the southeast corner of Wayne and Harrison streets downtown, the company announced Tuesday.
Shep Moyle, Shindigz chairman and co-owner, said buying the 33,000-square-foot building at 919 S. Harrison St., opens opportunities for the company, which wants to create strategic partnerships with universities in the region.
The company's professional and administrative staff will relocate to the fourth floor early next year after renovations are completed. Between 40 and 50 employees will make that move, but company officials expect to add about 20 more positions to that staff over the next few years as it expands beyond the fourth floor.
The new owners will honor the building's lease with The Find, however. The boutique retailer rents 2,500 square feet on the first floor. Nearby JK O'Donnell's and City Exchange are unaffected by the building's sale, spokesman Kevin Erb said.
Shindigz, which employs more than 300 during its peak season, will keep the bulk of its workforce in South Whitley, where it maintains manufacturing and order fulfillment operations in more than 200,000 square feet.
That site will also undergo upgrades beginning next year.
Shindigz is one of several employers that have moved – or soon will – corporate or at least significant operations downtown. They include Ash Brokerage, the University of Saint Francis, Ruoff Home Mortgage, First Merchants Bank and local tax consulting firm DuCharme, McMillen & Associates Inc.
The result of each company's move ranges from bringing hundreds downtown to relocating dozens.
Customers come to Shindigz for elaborate prom decorations, birthday banners, balloon garlands, paper goods and party favors. Themed items are offered for Halloween, St. Patrick's Day, casino nights, Hawaiian luaus and much more.
The company, which sells more than 34,000 items, ships to customers throughout the U.S. and in more than 50 countries. Shep and Wendy Moyle bought the company in 1990. Hubert Stump founded it in 1926.
Company officials considered out-of-state locations before deciding on downtown Fort Wayne for the new headquarters.
Wendy Moyle, vice chairman, said they've been impressed by educators' willingness to work with Shindigz.
“We have a need to hire talented people now across a number of creative, technological and digital positions throughout the company, so we're excited about these collaborations with our area's outstanding universities and their students,” she said in a statement.
Shep Moyle underscored the company's ties to the community.
“We've been committed to northeast Indiana for more than 90 years, and this announcement solidifies and strengthens that commitment moving forward,” he said.
In his statement, Moyle thanked the Indiana Economic Development Corp., the city of Fort Wayne, Greater Fort Wayne Inc. and the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. It's unclear whether his company will receive tax breaks or other incentives.
Dan Haight, Shindigz CEO, believes downtown's momentum will help his company grow and attract talent.
“As a design and technology company first and foremost, we've worked hard to make Shindigz a premier career destination,” he said in a statement. “Our relocation to downtown Fort Wayne will only strengthen and enhance that appeal to young professionals looking at Fort Wayne as a place where they can build their career.”
Shindigz officials plan to unveil new signs and branding for the downtown location in September.