By Terry Rogers
On Thursday, September 7, Davis, Bowen & Friedel celebrated the grand opening of their new office building on Park Avenue in Milford. The new office is located in the completely renovated building that formerly housed the Milford Skating Rink.
“Davis, Bowen & Friedel opened our first offices in Salisbury in 1983,” said Mike Wheedleton, a partner in the firm. “We came to Dover in the 1990s and opened our first office in Milford in 1995. We love this town and are proud that we were able to remain in the downtown area.” Mr. Wheedleton thanked their builder, Brendan Warfel, as well as their landlord, Dennis Silicato, for making the new office possible.
The firm opened their first office in Milford in the Odd Fellows Building on Walnut Street. As the company grew, they moved into what was the old Grant’s Department Store, leasing from Silicato Development. It was not long before they also outgrew that building, adding another leased space across the street at 28 North Walnut Street from a different landlord.
The renovated building allowed the company to move all employees under one roof. Brick and stone were added to the outside of the building. Many windows were installed, giving the building a more open appearance. Inside, adjustments had to be made to the building entrance, which was the loading dock for Grant’s. Mr. Wheedleton said that the floor was about three feet higher there than the rest of the floor. To accommodate the difference, a long ramp was added, providing handicapped access.
The new offices are spacious and well-decorated. The walls in the lobby are adorned with old photos of Milford, including aerial shots and buildings that used to be located near the current building. One photo is of the groundbreaking for the current building which was taken in 1960.
“We are pleased you made the investment to remain in Milford,” Mayor Bryan Shupe said. “Today, I told someone I was headed to DBF for a grand opening, not realizing that the person I was speaking to did not know what DBF was. When they asked, I explained that when they turn on a city street or turn on a water faucet, DBF probably had a hand in making that happen. You have been a great partner for this City and I can’t wait to see how you grow.”
Cheryl Doucette, President of the Greater Milford Chamber of Commerce thanked the firm for their continued support of Milford and commended them on the beautiful renovation of the building. “We are very happy to be here,” Mr. Wheedleton said. “This was a huge project and we could not have done it with the support of the City, the state and our talented employees who jumped in and helped us make this happen.”
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