South End firm buys land, plans expansion

A rendering of Flores & Associates’ planned expansion.
A rendering of Flores & Associates’ planned expansion.

A company in South End has purchased a site on Palmer Street, where it plans to build an expansion to its headquarters.

Flores & Associates, an administrator for reimbursement plans such as health spending accounts, is at 1218 S. Church St., in a part of South End that’s seen rapid growth. Nearby developments in recent years include the Lumina townhouses, Korean fusion restaurant Seoul Food Meat Co. and the Loft 135 apartments.

Mario Flores, head of the company, said the new expansion is meant to “create more of a campus feel” for Flores & Associates and make room for anticipated growth and new hires. The company paid $925,000 for a third of an acre on Palmer Street adjacent to its current property, Mecklenburg County property records show.

New South Properties represented Flores & Associates in the transaction, while Whiteside Industrial Properties represented the sellers.

Flores said the firm will build an expansion that stretches over the current parking lot and connects to a new building on the recently acquired site. Demolition of the former building on the Palmer Street site is already complete. Myers & Chapman is the general contractor for the project, which is expected to take about 20 weeks to complete. Overcash Demmitt is the architect for the 15,000-square-foot expansion.

The company moved to South End in 2011 from uptown. They’ve increased to 50 employees from 18, and Flores said he anticipates more growth as a result of new national clients they’ve signed.

In addition to the company’s main building and planned expansion, Flores & Associates also has an unconventional facility for a company its size: A 7,500-square-foot gym, with half-court basketball and workout classes. The company bought the 0.18 parcel at Palmer and Church streets for the gym in 2013 for $450,000.

“It’s a bit of a recruiting tool as well,” said Flores.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo