OSAGE | Osage’s Main Street façade program has breathed new life into many storefront businesses, including tax and accounting firm Murphy, Coe & Smith, PLCC.
A certified public accounting firm of 15 employees, MCS held a ribbon cutting at its new Main Street offices, located in a building that has seen many changes over the years.
“We purchased the building and immediately put a new roof on it as the old one was leaking,” said Lou Ann Murphy, owner. “We would have expanded with or without the Main Street Restoration Program. However, the program made it easier to be able to make the building more tailored to our needs. The program allowed us to do work on the inside and to be able to redo the front also.”
Murphy said she had been searching for a larger building for almost seven years, inquiring many times about the martial arts studio because it was next door to her existing offices. In those offices, where employees were spread out over two floors, files had to be carried up and down stairs on a daily basis. Some employees had to work from home because there was just no office space for them.
The expansion project means each team now has their offices grouped for greater efficiency and convenience. It has also given employees a conference room, not having to double as an employee break room. With more space, employees can now spread their projects out on a table without having to worry about packing it up before they are ready.
“Before, if someone came in to sign their return, during times when employees were on their lunch or dinner breaks, we either had to clear out the conference room or use one of the offices and displace someone there,” Murphy said. “Our biggest hope was to have a building which worked well with our work flow and allow for expansion.”
The expansion project took almost two years from purchase to completion, but during that time, Murphy was still able to rent the building to the Main Street Façade Program contractor for use as a staging area.
The restoration program replaced the windows, worked on the loose bricks, and stabilized the front of the building.
While the exterior work was underway, the firm worked with Sway Concepts to design the new office space. Due to uneven floors, the entire inside was gutted, with supporting walls being constructed in the basement storage area so the floor would be stable and flat. Offices and three conference rooms were built, with completely new HVAC, plumbing and wiring.
“Our biggest hope was to have a building which worked well with our work flow and allow for expansion,” said Murphy. “I think Main Street looks great, not just the renovation project but also the improvements individual property owners have taken on. I have been here 30 years in February, and it has always amazed me the beautiful main street this town has.
“It has come from a lot of hard work of the business owners, the economic development groups and the board in this town. You don’t have to drive very far to see main streets that are dying, and it is exciting to be a part of a main street that is growing instead.”