Augusta medical billing company moving to North Augusta

Office consolidation to bring 65 new jobs

Thursday, April 24, 2014 4:28 PM
Last updated Friday, April 25, 2014 5:39 PM
  • Follow Business

Back | Next
North Augusta Mayor Lark Jones (left) remarks that Bijon Memar, a co-founder and president of Medac Inc., was wearing a North Augusta lapel pin.  JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
North Augusta Mayor Lark Jones (left) remarks that Bijon Memar, a co-founder and president of Medac Inc., was wearing a North Augusta lapel pin.

NORTH AUGUSTA — Medical billing company Medac Inc. announced Thursday that it will move headquarters from west Augusta to North Augusta, with construction of a two-story office to begin later this year.

The company, which had offices in Augusta for more than 20 years, had been courted to move into the former Fort Discovery in downtown Augusta. The 550-employee company will spend $12 million to consolidate three locations and add 65 jobs, said co-founder and president Bijon Memar.

Medac does billing for anesthesiology companies and was founded in Augusta in 1992 by Memar and his brother Kam. The company is the second-largest privately held anesthesia billing company in the country, with a presence in 37 states.

“Medac has spent more than 10 years researching locations where we could combine our offices and increase operational and environmental efficiencies,” Memar said.

Locations it considered included business parks, former grocery store buildings, and a site in Lincolnton, Ga., Memar said. The company was attracted to the location because of proximity to Project Jackson, a $144 million riverfront development.

Medac will be moving into a two-story, 60,000-square-foot building at the corner of Center Street and Bluff Avenue. It will be the largest single private-sector employer in the city. Discussions began months ago and Medac signed a lease Friday.

“I’m just flabbergasted at how quickly this deal has come together,” Memar said.

On Monday, the North Augusta City Council authorized City Administrator Todd Glover to negotiate for “Project Slumber,” acknowledged to be the Medac project. The resolution, passed by the council, said the city was asked to provide land and a parking garage to negotiate.

Overall, Medac’s relocation to North Augusta is something for city residents to be excited about, he added.

“It shows that if we do things right, people will come,” Jones said.

Medac was the unnamed company in negotiations to relocate in Fort Discovery at the corner of Reynolds and Seventh streets, Downtown Development Authority of Augusta Executive Director Margaret Woodard confirmed.

“We would have loved to have them there,” she said after the announcement. “But I think if you look at the regional approach, which I think we all agree with, downtown still has a lot to benefit with them being in North Augusta.”

The DDA’s role in the defunct project was to manage operational aspects, said Woodard, with the Mayor’s Office and the Augusta Regional Collaboration handling direct lease negotiations. Woodard said interest is swirling in the 120,000-square-foot riverfront space, marketed through the DDA’s retail strategy.

“Right now we are marketing it to developers that are interested in doing downtown projects, that have had a good track record,” she said. “We brought in three during Masters Week.”

Woodard didn’t elaborate.

Retail Strategies LLC, the Alabama-based retail consultant contracted by the DDA to bring retail downtown, is marketing the property next month at the International Council of Shopping Centers show in Las Vegas, Woodard said. The space in Port Royal’s high-rise building has been vacant since 2010, when Fort Discovery left after 13 years. The site has been stripped for its next tenant.

Medac Inc. began as Medical Bureau Inc., a multispecialty billing company providing services to medical fields, in 1986 by Kam Memar, who died in 1998. He was joined by his brother in 1989.

In 1992, they realized the need for specialization in the anesthesiology sector and Medac Inc. was born with eight employees. Medac’s main location is 804 Scott Nixon Memorial Drive in Augusta. It also has offices on Wheeler Road and near Doctors Hospital.

Staff writer Jenna Martin contributed to this article.

Comments (31) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
corgimom
38702
Points
corgimom 04/24/14 - 04:31 pm
8
8
They want to have their

They want to have their business in a well-run city, where there aren't shootings every other day.

But Countyman won't like this at all.

Riverman1
94210
Points
Riverman1 04/24/14 - 04:41 pm
12
2
Big catch for North Augusta

Big catch for North Augusta with 615 employees in clean office jobs right in downtown NA.

Riverman1
94210
Points
Riverman1 04/24/14 - 05:19 pm
5
2
Fort Discovery?

By the way, has anything moved into the old Fort Discovery yet? Wasn't some kind of call center supposed to go in there?

Clemsondoc
181
Points
Clemsondoc 04/24/14 - 05:43 pm
4
1
Is this part of the Project Jackson area?

I ride my bike and run through this area frequently and can't visualise where a baseball stadium would fit. I hope some high end restaurants/bars open in the area to complement Manuel's. Would also fit to have a luxury hotel (Hyatt/embassy/hilton/omni) in the development on the river.

Butterman
3696
Points
Butterman 04/24/14 - 05:44 pm
9
6
Can't wait for the spin
Unpublished

I wonder how Cman will spin this one? I believe this was the 400+ jobs that was supposed to move into the Fort Discovery space.. of course it was only consolidating jobs already in Richmond County, but Cman was acting like these were new jobs. Now they are leaving RC permanently across the river. Explain to me what the heck the DDA director, Sprouse, and Matt Kwatinetz are all doing? They are all making fabulous salaries and appear to be doing diddly squat to bring jobs to Augusta.. in fact they are leaving in droves. Oh but I am sure Cman will come on later and hark about some new minimum wage retail jobs coming to the VAR.

restguy
405
Points
restguy 04/24/14 - 06:02 pm
7
2
Time to change

Govt in Augusta......give them what they wanted...600 something new jobs? Really? We should have better leaders with BUSINESS EXPERIENCE ....

pja5529
2726
Points
pja5529 04/24/14 - 06:19 pm
5
3
Leaving in droves?

One business moving to NA equals leaving in droves?

Seriously I think this is good news for North Augusta who doesn't have much of a downtown now. I think that both downtowns can play off of each other and create a nice area with the Savannah River running through it. The last master plan for downtown actually included North Augusta.

pja5529
2726
Points
pja5529 04/24/14 - 06:21 pm
6
4
@Corgimom

According to the owners, their decision had nothing to do with how the cities were ran but more to do with them wanting to be a apart of Project Jackson.

Dixieman
17543
Points
Dixieman 04/24/14 - 06:26 pm
12
4
Spin all you want but

that's a whole lotta jobs, folks, and our tax revenues are going to drop. Last person out of Augusta please turn out the lights.

Pops
14668
Points
Pops 04/24/14 - 07:17 pm
2
9
I just want to know why

The Chronicle feels the need to print this bad news. Always looking to down Augusta. Sarcasm, Sheldon......

Butterman
3696
Points
Butterman 04/24/14 - 07:20 pm
6
3
600+ Jobs gone
Unpublished

in this one case.. don't forget P&G jobs..don't forget Electrolux jobs... oh but we got 140 Starbucks jobs and some minimum wage retail in the last 4 years. You can do your own math. The people whose job it is to bring jobs to Augusta and keep them here are failing us miserably. It's one thing if this was a company looking to locate to the area.. but this is a company already located in Richmond County.. that is moving out. At the very least, these high paid govt officials should be able to keep a company of this size with ARC. And where is Deke with all his supposed "connections" in the business and corporate world? Talk about one big fat disappointment of a mayor.

Butterman
3696
Points
Butterman 04/24/14 - 07:28 pm
10
3
Boy Wonder
Unpublished

Speaking of Boy Wonders.. this is what that wunderkind Matt Kwatinetz was supposedly negotiating behind closed doors. Sounds like we found a real winner with him. Remember where he blasted off at George Eskola on camera yelling "Back off, you're going to ruin this deal!"

Conservative Man
5578
Points
Conservative Man 04/24/14 - 08:10 pm
6
3
Oh..but ..

…remember…this will be spun as being OUR fault because we are "naysayers"…

Kwatinetz, et al are charlatans….and this is further proof.

The next piece of the puzzle is to defeat SPLOST VII….

K, and the rest want 5.5 million to continue the charade…..

Vote NO on SPLOST VII May 20th!!

IBeDogGone
3015
Points
IBeDogGone 04/24/14 - 08:19 pm
3
1
Augusta Do Not Get Your Panties in a Wad!

I was there when Sonny Perdue landed his helicopter for this big announcement http://www.georgia.org/news-room/medac-to-expand-with-new-facility-in-li... outsourcing to India was going to cease. Medac now utilizes 2 outsourcing companies not 1. Let me know when the ribbon is cut at the facility.

Gage Creed
19430
Points
Gage Creed 04/24/14 - 08:42 pm
4
1
They must be belting out some

They must be belting out some 12 bar blues at the Jazz cafe tonight....

dichotomy
37609
Points
dichotomy 04/24/14 - 09:43 pm
4
0
Can't blame them for moving

Can't blame them for moving across the river. Wish I could afford to do the same thing. They can see the handwriting on the wall.

countyman
21682
Points
countyman 04/24/14 - 09:54 pm
3
8
Double standards!!

The sky is always falling in Augusta everyday... Hagler Systems moved from North Augusta into East Augusta last year and nobody said anything..
http://chronicle.augusta.com/news//local-business/2013-02-19/hagler-syst...

Augusta has the second fastest growing tech sector in the state behind Atlanta. The company Electrolux was located in Martinez and not Richmond County..

Many new companies have opened in the urban core recently including Rural Sourcing and Southpoint Media.. The $115 million Rockwood, $172 million Starbucks, $20 million Augusta Renewable, and the Palmetto Propane facility is underway in South Augusta..

itsanotherday1
48395
Points
itsanotherday1 04/24/14 - 10:10 pm
7
3
Not a huge deal IMO. A CSRA

Not a huge deal IMO. A CSRA company just changed addresses locally. Yea, it could change the tax base a little for RC, but the same people are employed, living in the same houses, spending the same money in the same stores. The state loses a bit of income tax, SC gains some; but all in all, a wash for the area as a whole.

Riverman1
94210
Points
Riverman1 04/25/14 - 03:41 am
3
0
Changes NA Dynamics

It certainly changes the dynamics of North Augusta in a major way.

corgimom
38702
Points
corgimom 04/25/14 - 04:10 am
5
4
"Hagler Systems moved from

"Hagler Systems moved from North Augusta into East Augusta last year and nobody said anything.."

Au contraire.

I had a lot to say about it, that they were just a very small company and would make little, if any impact, on anything, and the hype was overblown.

How quickly we forget.

As for them saying they wanted to be in NA because of Project Jackson, sure. The lower crime rate and quality of life had NOTHING to do with their decision. Very diplomatic, they are. Do you think Project Jackson is going to have a major impact upon a medical billing company?

Countyman, you need to get some new hype, your old hype- well, it's just old.

140 jobs (and I'll believe that when I see it) is insignificant in a county that has over 8% unemployment. That only leaves about 17,000 people still looking for work, and that doesn't include the people that aren't counted in the rate.

TrukinRanger
1748
Points
TrukinRanger 04/25/14 - 05:55 am
0
0
Why wouldn't they want to
Unpublished

Why wouldn't they want to move into North Augusta? It's cleaner, ran better, safer, and not surround by ghetto.

countyman
21682
Points
countyman 04/25/14 - 06:28 am
2
9
Facts

Both Medac and Hagler Systems are smaller companies.. The Hagler Systems investment totaled around $7 million, 50 new jobs(over 100 total) and included the 60,000 SQ. FT. expansion in East Augusta..

Why is somebody only focusing on 140 jobs? The Rockwood plant and the Starbucks plant together are 255 jobs by themselves..

Why do I need to get some new hype? The new propane facility was just announced on March 31st, 2014....

The city of North Augusta building a new parking deck and giving Medac access to the deck played a role and it's cheaper for them to consolidate in North Augusta. The majority of new office jobs have opened in West Augusta and definitely not in North Augusta. The major facilities like ADP, Northwestern Mutual, T-Mobile, Electrolux, medical offices near Doctors Hospital, etc.. The comments about the quality of life or crime rate makes absolutely zero sense, because the company had multiple locations in West Augusta. How does the quality of life or crime rate of North Augusta compare to West Augusta? Medac will become the largest single employer in the city of North Augusta and they need this company more than West Augusta..

Riverman1
94210
Points
Riverman1 04/25/14 - 06:49 am
4
2
Grapes Were Sour

Those grapes were sour anyway. Having 625 jobs in Augusta would probably just be a hassle anyway. Who needs um?

countyman
21682
Points
countyman 04/25/14 - 07:09 am
2
8
Hilarious

Having any type of new jobs in Columbia County would be appreciated.. Who needs them when 30,000 residents from Columbia County commute into Richmond County? Let's constantly bash Richmond County and then provide the CSRA with numerous retail jobs..

The residents in the surrounding counties love to point the finger at Richmond county, but we all know what county provides the overwhelmingly majority of jobs..

I really do feel sorry for the CSRA, because many people seem to believe that suburban counties are more important compared to the main county...

The surrounding counties will NEVER be able to attract the same amount of industry compared to Richmond. Let's embrace the truth and stop fighting the inevitable.

Riverman1
94210
Points
Riverman1 04/25/14 - 07:13 am
8
1
True Statement

"Who needs them when 30,000 residents from Columbia County commute into Richmond County? "

An absolutely true statement. They also commute back home every evening.

Riverman1
94210
Points
Riverman1 04/25/14 - 07:30 am
2
1
First Black Congressman

John Barrow is the first black Congressman for Richmond County since Reconstruction just as Bill Clinton was our first black president.

corgimom
38702
Points
corgimom 04/25/14 - 08:18 am
2
1
Oh, 255 jobs! With 17,000

Oh, 255 jobs! With 17,000 people out of work (the actual number is much higher), oh, yeah, that will make a HUGE dent in the unemployment figures.

Let's see, 255 jobs gained, 600 jobs lost. Um, not good.

seenitB4
98436
Points
seenitB4 04/25/14 - 08:26 am
3
0
Yes they will....

“It shows that if we do things right, people will come,” Jones said.

countyman
21682
Points
countyman 04/25/14 - 08:48 am
1
3
Facts

The article clearly says the company Medac employs 550 people and not 600...

There's no point of debating against people who simply hate the city of Augusta.. The number of companies hiring in Richmond County include more than Rockwood or Starbucks...

Butterman
3696
Points
Butterman 04/25/14 - 11:00 am
2
0
The Washing Machine
Unpublished

Is spinning in hyper mode now. Funny how he was on here a few months ago hyping this "Big Deal" that the wunderkind Matt Kumquat was going to "make happen" .. and now he comes on here downplaying it as no big thing. Spin, spin and more spin. I never understood all the hype in the first place over this Fort Discovery deal when all we were doing was giving tax breaks to a company already located on ARC to move jobs from one part of the county to downtown. I am also curious if the pension fund land was part of the negotiations over parking and if that is the $1.5 million that was being given to the DDA from SPLOST to "resurface a parking lot." So what happens to that now that the deal is dead? So what are the prospects of this Pink Elephant?

Back to Top
loading...
Top headlines

Christmas Eve rains to dry up

If Wednesday seemed particularly wet and dreary, you would be right. The day broke the record for the wettest Christmas Eve that Augusta has ever had.
Search Augusta jobs