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Nonprofit FosterAdopt Connect Inc. targeted downtown as the short-term home for its new Youth Connect Center. Located in College Station at 425 W. McDaniel St., Ste. 160, the center is a drop-in facility that provides community services for youth ages 13-18. Executive Director Brandi VanAntwerp said startup costs were $307,000, adding the organization signed a two-year lease for the 3,000-square-foot space with Tillman Properties LLC for $2,750 per month. The center has room for staff offices, lockers for youths to use, as well as individual shower rooms and a laundry area. The back of the building has pantries stocked with hygiene items, clothing and food for teens to use or take with them. FosterAdopt Connect also provides hot meals daily. VanAntwerp said Erin Washburn leads a four-employee staff at the facility, with plans to be downtown until an expected 2024 move to fill space in a three-story, 44,000-square-foot teen center planned by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield Inc.
Pitt Technology Group
Pitt Technology Group LLC acquired Protel Systems and Supplies Inc. in a deal that closed Dec. 1 for undisclosed terms. Kevin Waterland, co-owner and general manager of Pitt Technology Group, said Protel provides telecommunication services in the Springfield area. He said Pitt Technology plans to begin offering cloud-based managed phone systems to its services. Protel Systems was sold by Shane Taylor, who took on full ownership of the company in 2019. As part of the transition, Protel recently sold its 2929 N. Eastgate Ave. office and integrated operations into Pitt Technology’s headquarters in Springfield Underground. Waterland said three Protel employees have moved to his company’s headquarters and that Taylor has retired. The deal includes Protel’s book of business comprising 200 active contracts and roughly 1,100 customers, Waterland said. Taylor was among those who purchased Protel in 2008 from Steve Thompson, who started the company in 1982.
Nov. 21 marked the opening of Kaiju Coffee at The Fairbanks in northwest Springfield. Co-owners Taylor Gunter, James Legault and Alex De Luca, via Ozarks Coffee Collective LLC, are the lone employees for the venture in the community resource hub at 1126 N. Broadway Ave. Legault said the original plan was to open the shop in a food truck before the team learned that Fairbanks Coffee, owned and operated by Life360 Community Services, had shuttered at The Fairbanks. The business is on a temporary lease with nonprofit Drew Lewis Foundation Inc. through the end of this month, Legault said. The owners say discussions with Drew Lewis Foundation founder Amy Blansit are ongoing to extend the lease. Legault said startup costs were $1,500, adding the shop sources its coffee beans through Battlefield-based Copper Canyon Coffee Roasters. Its menu includes cold brew, lattes, espresso, gluten-free almond cake, lemon-blueberry cake and focaccia bread. Drink prices range $2.50-$6.
The first downtown Springfield branch for Arvest Bank opened; a longtime licensed massage therapist became a first-time business owner; and 7 Brew Coffee opened its fourth shop in Springfield.