The Cellular Connection, a Marion-based cell phone retailer with nearly 900 locations in 28 states, plans to open a corporate office in Carmel and hire as many as 145 employees within three years.
The firm will occupy a 47,000-square-foot building that it acquired earlier this year at 525 Congressional Blvd. Purchasing and building out the property will run about $5 million, said Scott Moorehead, CEO of parent firm Moorehead Communications Inc.
The Carmel space is expected to be ready for occupancy in August. It will serve as a satellite corporate office for the company, which will retain its Marion headquarters, Moorehead said.
“I think it was time to broaden our base of eligible employees,” Moorehead said of establishing a presence in Carmel. “We were out of space here [in Marion], and we have been hiring people left and right.
“A lot of them are commuting in [from the Indianapolis area]. Carmel is attractive to people from the south side of indianapolis who don’t want to be drive to Marion.”
The Carmel office will include back-office employees such as accounting and finance workers, programming engineers, legal staff, call center support workers, graphic designers and marketers. It also will feature a mock store for training, and a gym for employees.
In December, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Moorehead Communications $1.2 million in conditional tax credits for its job-creation plans and up to $200,000 in training grants.
The Cellular Connection is a descendant of a small electric company started in 1939 that now operates as a Verizon Wireless partner retailer. TCC also is a dealer for DISH Network.
It was founded in 1991 by Steve and Phyllis Moorehead. Scott, their son, became CEO in 2008. Moorehead Communications, which does business as The Cellular Connection, currently employs about 1,700.
Moorehead takes pride in flying under the radar. The firm posted revenue of $606 million in its 2012 fiscal year, which would make it the 19th-largest private company in Indiana. However, it hardly is a household name.
The company posted revenue of $466.2 million in 2011, according to its profile in Inc. magazine’s 2012 list of the nation’s fastest-growing companies. It ranked 1,294th on the list, with revenue increasing 239 percent since 2008.
The chain’s growth got a boost in 2010 when it landed a deal to operate cellular kiosks inside HHGregg stores.