Incentives helped Dental Care Alliance grow, add jobs

David P. Nichols, co-chief executive officer and chief financial officer for Dental Care Alliance.
David P. Nichols, co-chief executive officer and chief financial officer for Dental Care Alliance.

By any measure, Dental Care Alliance has grown rapidly since moving from Sarasota in 2011 into a two-story Mediterranean-style office building at 6240 Lake Osprey Drive, Lakewood Ranch.

Since then, DCA has acquired two adjacent properties, the former Edwin Watts golf building to the south and the former Stingray’s Grill to the north. The combined 6-acre parcel is in a Manatee County enclave south of University Parkway.

More significantly, DCA, which was established in 1991, has grown from 15 employees as recently as 1997 to about 160, and provides nonclinical services for 230 dental offices in 12 states, everywhere from the Bradenton-Sarasota area to 30 Rock in Manhattan, N.Y.

The company provides finance, accounting, human resource, marketing, and IT support to dental offices, allowing dentists and hygienists to focus on patient care, said David P. Nichols, co-chief executive officer and chief financial officer for DCA.

DCA was planning to add 12,000 square feet to its headquarters building in 2015, but instead acquired the Edwin Watts property which now houses human resources, legal, and a contact center for DCA. The former restaurant building is used for administrative purposes.

In addition to the $4.3 million that it cost DCA to acquire the three buildings, Nichols estimates that his company has invested more than $500,000 into remodeling the property.

Manatee County awarded $76,000 in incentives to DCA, basically $1,000 for each new position created at a projected average wage of $48,687.

“It was important, but it wasn’t the deciding event,” Nichols said of the incentive.

“It helped defray the cost of recruiting and training staff. It is great to work with Karen Stewart and her team,” Nichols said.

Stewart, economic development program manager for Manatee County government, said Dental Care Alliance has expanded into two additional buildings since the grant was awarded, and has hired 29 new employees with an average wage 15 percent higher than Manatee County’s average wage.

Dental Care Alliance still has about an acre of land on the campus that was not needed after the purchase of the Edwin Watts property, but is available for future expansion.

Affiliated practices in Manatee-Sarasota include Advanced Dental Care of Bradenton, 109 44th Ave. E., Advanced Dental Care of Lakewood Ranch, 8640 State Road 70 E., and Advanced Dental Care of Englewood, 1148 S. McCall Road.

James A. Jones Jr.: 941-745-7053, @jajones1

Incentives at a glance: Dental Care Alliance

Address: 6240 Lake Osprey Drive, Lakewood Ranch

Incentive amount: $76,000

Projected job growth: 76

Projected average wage: $48,687

Projected capital investment: $150,000

Current employment: 160

Source: Dental Care Alliance, Manatee County Government