SARATOGA SPRINGS — Nearly two months after purchasing a 5,200-square-foot building on Division Street, Fingerpaint has purchased its two-story Broadway headquarters.
The marketing agency has been located at 395 Broadway for more than five years. The building was previously a Borders Books and Music store, until that closed in April 2011.
In November, Fingerpaint purchased 1 Franklin Square for $1 million to use as office space, a creative workshop and apartments for employees.
Fingerpaint Founder Ed Mitzen said the company had five years left on its lease for the 25,000-square-foot Broadway building.
"We decided to convert that lease to a mortgage to build up equity," he said. "It ensures that we can remain here for a long time."
Marty Vanags, president of the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership, said it's not uncommon for businesses to convert leases to mortgages.
"A lot of business owners purchase a building as a separate entity and then lease it back to themselves," he said. "Some companies that will expand quickly or want to stay flexible with lease space won't, but that's more on the manufacturing side."
Mitzen said the Broadway headquarters helps the company recruit employees from across the country.
"We've moved people from Ohio, Boston and California, and Saratoga Springs has a nice reputation around the country," he said. "There's a nice downtown. There are a lot of creative businesses, and it's a nice area with good schools and a good cost of living."
Fingerpaint's local clients have included Glens Falls Hospital and Death Wish Coffee.
Since moving into the Broadway building in October 2012, the company has grown from 43 employees to more than 200.
"We're adding two to three people a week, it seems like," Mitzen said.
The company's growth was also a factor in purchasing the Broadway building.
"There aren't a lot of places in Saratoga Springs that can accommodate a company of our size as we grow, so we wanted to take advantage of this," Mitzen said. "Also, we were confident in making an investment because of all the investments other companies, like the Adelphi and [Saratoga Downtowner] next door, are making."
In late November, Lark Hotels, a hotel management and development company, purchased the Saratoga Downtowner motel on Broadway for $4.55 million.
Once the sale of Fingerpaint's Broadway building is complete — it's expected to close within the next few months — Mitzen said there will be further investment in the property.
"We're definitely going to expand our footprint, whether it's putting more floors on or expanding out into the parking lot," he said. "There's a lot we need to think through."
Maddy Zanetti, president of the Saratoga Springs Downtown Business Association and owner of Impressions of Saratoga, said Fingerpaint has always been supportive of the downtown business community.
"Their employees are great supporters of downtown and are often eating and shopping at downtown businesses," she said. "They've been a great addition to downtown."
Zanetti said that, while she wouldn't want Fingerpaint to get too overgrown, she's confident the company is going to respect the downtown community as it expands.
"They respect Saratoga's history and traditions," she said. "They see Saratoga Springs for what it is and appreciate it."
Mitzen said this year, Fingerpaint would grow to be a nearly $50 million company.
"We get calls all the time from companies looking to acquire marketing agencies, but we like our independence," he said. "We're focused on growing and doing great work while staying independent."