Daily News

Wellfleet Celebrates Move to Tower Square

SPRINGFIELD — Vid Mitta, managing partner of Tower Square, called Wellfleet’s relocation to the downtown Springfield office tower “a big thing.”

It’s even bigger when one considers how far the company has come, said Drew DiGiorgio, Wellfleet’s president and CEO.

“When we started, it was five employees,” DiGiorgio said. “My office was not an office — it was a desk and a chair at the bottom of the stairs at a barbershop in Wilbraham. We would open up envelopes, and I would lick them because didn’t even have the little spongy thing. To go from that to this is pretty humbling.”

Wellfleet, a Berkshire Hathaway company providing accident and health-insurance products, officially announced the relocation of its national corporate headquarters — and 150 of its employees — to the 10th, 11th, and 12th floors of Tower Square with a press conference on Friday.

“To me, Wellfleet is a home-grown, Springfield-based company which has grown to this size today, and we should applaud their success,” said Mitta, who announced that Wellfleet’s name will be placed on the tower as its anchor tenant.

Wellfleet — which has built a national niche insuring college students, handling more than 100,000 students at more than 200 colleges and universities — has outgrown its current office space on Roosevelt Avenue in Springfield. The new offices at Tower Square will give employees up to 80,000 square feet of class A office space and provide ample room for Wellfleet’s new and growing Workplace Benefits division.

DiGiorgio said Wellfleet employees, when asked what’s appealing about Tower Square, cited the attractive workspace, natural light, city views, and covered parking, as well as the food options downtown and the fact that the district has been emerging economically in recent years.

“A lot of people, years ago, said, ‘what can you expect? It’s Springfield,’” Mayor Domenic Sarno said. “More and more people are saying now, ‘why not Springfield?’”

He added that Tower Square’s owners have been aggressive and creative in bringing an eclectic mix of business to the facility, from Wellfleet to the YMCA of Greater Springfield to White Lion Brewing Co.

“I won’t say the downtown is re-emerging as much as it is reinventing itself,” the mayor added. “Springfield is getting on the map. And my administration continues to be business-friendly because it brings jobs.”

Formerly known as Consolidated Health Plans, Wellfleet branded under its current name in January, uniting its insurance carriers and claims-administration organizations under one marketing name. It boasts approximately 175 employees, 150 of whom work in Springfield; others work remotely or from satellite offices in Florence, S.C. and San Rafael, Calif.