DECATUR — After an estimated $4 million worth of renovations, FirsTech officially unveiled its new and improved service center during an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday afternoon.
The introduction of the sleek and refreshed office space comes a year after the payment processing company announced plans to transform its block of facilities located at East Main and South Park streets.
Last spring, the FirsTech buildings along East Main were demolished, as was a drive through window operated by Busey Bank. The buildings at 265 S. Park were remodeled, and a new drive through window was installed on the east side of the Busey branch at 130 S. Water Street.
"These buildings were really due for an upgrade," Executive Vice President of Operations Bill Borrini said with a laugh. "We've received a lot of support to make these renovations."
In addition to investments from FirsTech and Busey Bank's parent company, the Champaign-based First Busey Corp., the Economic Development Corporation of Decatur and Macon County agreed to administer enterprise zone incentives that will become available to FirsTech after the remodeling project was finished.
As a result of the agreement, the city of Decatur will provide the company with five years of graduated property tax abatement.
During a brief address to those attending FirsTech's re-opening ceremony, Economic Development Corporation President Ryan McCrady praised the company for its willingness to remain in Decatur, as opposed to relocating elsewhere.
"To have that reinvestment in our central business district just improves the economy of this area, this neighborhood and the employees that are down here," McCrady said. "It also shows (FirsTech's) commitment to the Decatur community."
FirsTech was founded in Decatur more than 30 years ago, and has been headquartered in the city ever since. Borrini said the company's decision to remain in Decatur mostly stemmed out of consideration for its 50 employees, as some of them have been with FirsTech since the beginning.
Looking toward the future, the renovations to the FirsTech and Busey downtown properties could make way for the company to expand its presence in the area, Borrini said.
"We're really excited about this," he said. "This will be good for the community."
Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe echoed that sentiment during her address before the ribbon was cut at the facility. She said she was "delighted" that FirsTech decided remained home in Decatur, and is looking forward to watching it thrive.
"FirsTech was born here, grew up here, and we hope it will be very, very old and successful here, because that's what we're all about," she said.