Tori Sutton, Stratford Gazette
Vancea Financial Group “Freedom 55” should have a new home by early fall.
Work has begun on the new office at 216 Huron St., which will replace the building gutted by fire on Nov. 11.
“It’s very exciting,” said Mike Vancea. “We’re well underway.”
Construction started last Wednesday and since then, a crew – led by general contractor Adam Hofer – has been busy setting up the foundation walls.
If all goes as planned, the build should be completed by September and ready for occupancy late that month.
Vancea credits his wife Carla and assistant Alyson, along with the rest of his staff, for keeping their focus and pushing forward, an effort that started immediately after the fire and has kept its momentum.
“I don’t think it would be possible for anybody else to have moved the practice and rebuilt the building in less than a year’s time,” he said. “That’s pretty impressive.”
The two-storey building will feature 2,000-square-feet of office space on the main floor and two 900-square-foot apartments on the upper level.
It will feature a brick facade, with stucco on the second floor exterior, something Vancea hopes will be an attractive addition to the neighbourhood.
“It’s going to be very nice, complementary to the existing neighbourhood as compared to the other building, which may have stuck out a bit like a sore thumb,” Vancea said.
Despite the challenges faced over the last few months, Vancea Financial Group has continued to grow, expanding its operations and bringing on a new full-time advisor and an additional assistant.
Vancea credits all those who have helped out over the last few months, including Steed Transport for providing temporary office space on Romeo Street and the community at large for its assistance, understanding and support.
“During this hectic period, we were very fortunate to be able to build,” he said. “We’re very appreciative.”
Though the fire – the cause of which was never determined, but was not suspicious – was over six months ago, Vancea staff still remember the evening vividly.
“It seems like just yesterday we were all out there, huddled as a group, watching the flames take over the building,” he said. “As awful as a moment that was, we’re really, really looking forward to getting into our new spot.”