UPPER MERION >> A growing corporate tax software company that had been spread out in seven buildings in Berwyn and Chesterbrook is settling in under one roof in Montgomery County .

Vertex Inc. last week held a ribbon cutting ceremony for its headquarters on Renaissance Boulevard in the King of Prussia area where it has not only consolidated but has also expanded with the promise of hiring more employees.

The company now has 900 total employees worldwide and 650 in its new headquarters building.

The new location has improved communications between employees and has helped with attracting new employees to the company, executives said earlier this week.

“It’s definitely very positive for us in the marketplace” for workers, said David Howry, director of human resources at Vertex. “We get greater access to Philadelphia and public transportation. Plus, before we were all scattered about.”

In October, the Governor’s Action Team announced Vertex’s decision to stay in the area and the incentives the state offered to keep the company.

Vertex received a $750,000 Pennsylvania First Program grant and $450,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits to be distributed upon creation of the new jobs.

The company will execute an 11-year lease for its new five-floor headquarters building, formerly occupied by GlaxoSmithKline and owned by Liberty Property Trust.

The company said it is investing $23.5 million in the project, including the leasehold, infrastructure improvements, new IT equipment, furniture and fixture purchases. Vertex committed to the creation of 225 new, full-time jobs over the next five years, and to the retention of existing employees.

“We started this process about five years ago,” explained Chris Kohl, chief information officer and long-term space project executive, “trying to decide what a headquarters means to us. There was a series of steps and meetings to design a state-of-the-art building for our needs.”

The new building offers Vertex employees “a totally different experience” with an open floor plan and meeting spaces for collaboration, Howry added. “It promotes higher levels of engagement.”

Another advantage, Kohl said, is the company no longer needs seven of everything, such as food services. Also, employees now don’t have to drive to meet with their fellow workers for meetings during the day, they’re all under the same roof.

“It offers the possibility of the spontaneous meeting, where you run into people,” Kohl added.

The new building also has sit/stand desks, promoting greater activity, the executives said.

“That’s a small thing, but it’s a real positive,” Howry said.

In deciding where to move, the company looked at where its current employees lived, access to public transportation and the airport, and availability to future workers.

The company looked from the Malvern-Exton area to Plymouth Meeting-Conshohocken before deciding on the site, which is about a seven minutes’ drive from the King of Prussia Mall and about seven miles from its former Berwyn headquarters on Cassatt Road.

Tax law changes throughout the world are pushing the company’s growth, according to the executives.

“You have more companies operating globally in a more complex tax environment,” Kohl said.

– To contact Business Writer Brian McCullough, call 610-235-2655 or send an email to bmccullough@21st-centurymedia.com.

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