The national moving and hauling outfit that began as a pair of college "hunks" hauling trash away from homes is graduating into bigger digs.
College Hunks Hauling Junk — and its sister company College Hunks Moving — is relocating its now-national franchise operation from small quarters in South Tampa to a new 10,000-square-foot corporate headquarters in Ybor City.
The recently acquired facility next to Centro Ybor will house corporate staff and employees of College Hunks' Tampa branch, nearly 50 people altogether. It also will become a training center for the company's 40 franchises and 350 employees around the country.
College Hunks expects to complete the move by mid-summer following a $1 million renovation. But the move can't come soon enough, as executives say they've run out of room at their current W Gandy Boulevard site.
"We're a fast-growing company and it's time to expand our physical building to match the growth of our business," said College Hunks president Nick Friedman.
The company is on pace to double its local employment over each of the next three years.
College Hunks CEO Omar Soliman said the new headquarters' proximity to Hillsborough Community College's Ybor campus is key to finding future employees.
"We're excited about the potential to partner with HCC and offer job opportunities to the students," he said.
The company also is eager to join the Ybor City revival, Friedman said.
"We're so pumped about Ybor," Friedman said. "We want to be part of the movement to re-enrich that part of the city. It has such a great, rich cultural heritage and so many great businesses are moving there."
College Hunks began in Washington, D.C., in 2003 when then-college students Friedman and Soliman were trying to make money during summer vacation by taking away trash, recycling much of their haul.
In 2008, Friedman and Soliman relocated to Tampa.
The duo, now both 29, sold the company last year to waste management firm 1-800-Junk-USA. But the two founders remained on the board with an equity stake and continue to operate College Hunks as a separate entity from 1-800-Junk.
Jeff Harrington can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8242.