JEFFERSONTOWN, Ky. — Statewide Mortgage LLC’s new 53,000-square-foot headquarters building in the City of Jeffersontown gives the thriving locally owned business room to grow. The company moved into its new digs Nov. 10 and 11 and was ready to do business in the building at 10140 Linn Station Road on Monday, Nov. 12.
Founder and President Keith Swisher is thrilled to have the chance to provide this new workplace to his 102 employees — 81 of whom work for Statewide Mortgage. Another 21 employees work for Swisher Insurance.
“I’m most proud of the fact that the people who work here, that I love and think the world of, are finally getting the facilities they deserve,” Swisher said. “They have stuck with us, and we are loyal to them.”
Statewide Mortgage celebrated its relocation with an 11 a.m. ribbon cutting on Thursday, Nov. 15, followed by a lunch for event attendees and company employees and their families. A mechanical bull set up in the basement provided a fun option. Employees’ families were welcomed to the grand opening. Swisher said family friendliness is at the core of the company’s culture, and events of this kind always include spouses and children.
Statewide Mortgage bought the building in March 2017 for $4.2 million. Previous occupant Rescare rented the building for about five months before Statewide Mortgage initiated a $1 million makeover. The investment cost includes renovations as well as the purchase of new furniture, computers and IT systems.
The company did not move far. Statewide Mortgage relocated from four office condo units at 10221 Linn Station Road, just down the street from its new building, which is the company’s second Jeffersontown location.
“We are glad to see Statewide Mortgage experiencing the kind of success that enabled them to invest in a new headquarters,” said Jeffersontown Mayor Bill Dieruf. “We work with our businesses to support them and help them make moves like this that keep them within our great city.”
Statewide Mortgage qualified for incentives available through the City of Jeffersontown’s JOBS program based on projected job creation, which also was the basis for the company receiving preliminary approval in August 2016 of $600,000 in tax credits and wage assessment benefits spread over 10 years from the Kentucky Business Investment program. Statewide hopes to receive a portion of this money to offset the costs of expansion, Swisher said.
“Incentives of this kind are essential tools. They often fill gaps in financing that allow business expansion to happen,” said Mike Kmetz, executive director of the Jeffersontown Economic Development Authority. “With Statewide Mortgage, it was a classic win-win. We were able to provide a financial benefit to the company and, in turn, retain a thriving business that will be adding to its employment base.”
Statewide Mortgage has set up shop in the first and second floors and basement of the new headquarters building with the third floor reserved for future expansion. Unique features of Statewide’s office décor are two reception desks fashioned from cowlings that covered 747 airliner engines. Found at a large plane graveyard in the Mohave Desert, the shiny metal airplane parts were hauled across the country on a flatbed truck. “The cost was comparable to having a reception area built for us, so we went with this unique look,” Swisher said.
In the new office, Statewide Mortgage employees not only will have more space to work in — but also to play in. The building will have pool tables, video games and a photo booth. “It’s going to be a really fun place,” Swisher said.
While emphasizing a customer-focused approach to business, Swisher said he encourages work/life balance for his employees. “We are dog friendly and kid friendly,” Swisher said. “We don’t want a rigid corporate mindset. Our people trust us, and we trust them. We’re really good at retaining our employees.”
Statewide Mortgage was founded in 2002 with its first office on Dixie Highway. The headquarters moved to Southern Parkway in 2007 then to 10221 Linn Station Road in 2011. In late 2016, Swisher purchased the former Benihana restaurant building on a site behind Statewide Mortgage’s new location. He intended to redevelop the property into the company’s headquarters then learned about the pending availability of the building where the company has relocated.
Swisher said he might sell the old Benihana site or redevelop it sometime in the future. In addition to operating Statewide Mortgage and Swisher Insurance, Swisher also owns about 20 commercial properties — mostly medical centers and strip malls, he said, referring to the real estate portfolio as “another way to stay involved in real estate.”
His entry into the mortgage industry was driven by an unsettling home-buying experience in the 1990s. Swisher said he felt like he was being taken advantage of as the deal unfolded, and he now strives to ensure that his clients are treated fairly with “no playing games.” Customers are treated the same “no matter the size of the deal,” Swisher said. “I like helping people and sincerely believe that’s how all our people are.”