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RTKL builds on overseas growth and new markets

RTKL builds on overseas growth and new markets

By Staff | August 11, 2010
This article first appeared in the 200107 issue of BD+C.

While RTKL is practically synonymous with retail architecture, David C. Hudson, president of the Baltimore-based A/E firm, is quick to note that such work only accounts for about a quarter of its revenues.

"In the early 1980s, it would have been more like 70 to 80 percent," says Hudson, who is proud to recount the firm's efforts to diversify.

One of the initiatives has been to develop retail clientele outside of the United States. "Now our retail business is worldwide, so — while there are economic cycles in every country — when one market is down, others are up," Hudson notes, adding that the European retail segment is very healthy now, and that the Asian market is recovering very nicely. For RTKL, such countertrends to the current U.S. contraction have meant a steady stream of work.

"The international market has been very healthy and profitable for us," says Hudson, "and we've been very successful at our ability to get key projects." Recent projects of note include the Beijing World Financial Center in China, Warsaw Trade Tower in Poland and Mega Centro, a large upscale retail project in the Dominican Republic.

Of course, RTKL's diversification efforts have also been at growing new U.S. markets, especially in the hospitality, public, health-care and corporate segments — and, lately, in interiors. Last year, the firm acquired Miami-based Howard Snoweiss Design Group, a leader in hospitality and corporate interiors — and an effective launching pad into the cruise ship and Latin American markets. In 1999, the focus was on health care, with the purchase of FDSI.

"These are business lines that are traditionally on different cycles than the commercial sectors, so they help balance that economic cycle," Hudson explains.

Reflecting its diverse market base are diverse office structures, which vary from location to location. "Our goal was to diversify," says Hudson. "Our clients want experts, so we have to focus on the building types they need.

"And in times of economic downturn, that can be very healthy."

1 (1) $172.20 Helmuth, Obata + Kassabaum Inc.
211 North Broadway, Suite 600
St. Louis, MO 63102
(314) 421-2000
Billings grew modestly for this A/E leader in a year of internal reorganization. Major projects last year included a new terminal at San Francisco International airport (see BD&C, September 2000) and expansion of Anaheim Convention Center. The firm now has three divisions, including HOK Sports, "HOK Delivery" and HOK European Network, which links its major continental offices. William E. Valentine, Pres.; Patrick MacLeamy, COO; Larry D. Self, Bus. Dev.
2 (3) $115.00 Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
224 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 1000
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 554-9090
SOM's continued success in securing major commissions around the globe pushed it up one notch from third last year. The higher billings are in part explained by the inclusion of foreign billings, which were excluded in previous years. The firm provided A/E services in 2001 for headquarters projects for Time Warner/AOL in New York City, General Motors in Detroit and AIG in Hong Kong. David M. Childs, Chmn.; Adrian Smith, Ptnr.; Allison Hecht, Bus. Dev.
3 (9) $105.00 RTKL Associates Inc.
One South St.
Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 528-8600
With the inclusion of foreign billings this year, RTKL jumps to third, with 27 percent of its work outside of the United States. Other reasons for growth included the acquisition of Howard Snoweiss Design Group (see firm profile, above) and a diverse portfolio of large projects, such as Warsaw Trade Tower in Poland, Mega Centro in the Dominican Republic and Beijing World Financial Center in China. Harold L. Adams, Chmn., CEO; David C. Hudson, Pres., COO
4 (8) $102.10 Ellerbe Becket
800 LaSalle Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55402-2014
(612) 376-2000
Bouncing back from eighth on the list last year, Ellerbe Becket saw new offices open in Seoul, Dubai and in Greenville, S.C. Rick Lincicome and Robert Degenhardt swapped places as CEO and president, respectively. Significant commissions included a large new building for the Mayo Clinic, a mission-critical facility for E*Trade and major projects in Japan, Sao Paulo, Saudi Arabia and Guanzhou, China. Rick Lincicome, CEO; Robert Degenhardt, Pres.
5 (2) $101.43 HNTB Corp.
1201 Walnut, Suite 700
Kansas City, MO 64106
(816) 472-1201
Last year, the firm acquired LDR International, an urban design firm. With almost all of its revenues from U.S. projects — 70 percent from the institutional sector — HNTB continues to garner large commissions and more design/build projects. Major projects under way include a convention center in Boston, a stadium for the Denver Broncos and new terminals at Dallas/Fort Worth and Chicago's Midway airports. Steven M. Reiss, Chmn.; Harvey K. Hammond, CEO
6 (6) $101.00 SmithGroup
500 Griswold St., Suite 200
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 983-3600
The firm aligned on the basis of national market and practice sectors last year and acquired Tobey + Davis, Reston, Va, boosting East Coast resources in the health-care and research markets. Noteworthy projects included Detroit's Ford Field; Milwaukee Lakefront Promenade and Plaza; Chesapeake Bay Foundation headquarters; NBCi San Francisco headquarters; and the Univ. of Mich. Life Sciences Institute. Arnold Mikon, Chmn., CEO; David King, Dir. of Design
7 (13) $99.21 Einhorn Yaffee Prescott
Broadway at Beaver, P.O. Box 617
Albany, NY 12207
(518) 431-3300
Not quite doubling its billings from the year previous, EYP moves up from 13 last year and 17 two years ago. Accounting for the large jump last year are such significant projects as $228 million in new and reconstruction school projects on Long Island, N.Y., a Web-hosting facility for AT&T and a new arts building for American University, Washington, D.C. Steven L. Einhorn, Pres., CEO; Eric C. Yaffee, VP, CFO; Andrew W. Prescott, VP.
8 (5) $98.07 A. Epstein and Sons International Inc.
600 W. Fulton St.
Chicago, IL 60661
(312) 454-9100
Another strong year for the firm saw more projects in its strongholds, Illinois, Poland and Israel, including a mixed-use retail development in Warsaw and a 60-story office structure in Chicago. The addition last year of Comcorp, an environmental/graphic design firm, further rounds out the A/E's competencies. Figure at left includes foreign billings, which account for about 11 percent of the firm's work. Sidney Epstein, Chmn.; Mickey Kupperman, Pres., CEO
9 (15) $89.00 Heery International Inc.
999 Peachtree St., N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30309
(404) 881-9880
A large jump in this listing is in part due to the inclusion of foreign billings, which account for 16 percent of the firm's work. The firm also garnered many large contracts, including an expansion of the Georgia World Congress center, $2.3 billion of projects for Charleston (S.C.) schools and $240 million for the Houston Independent School District. Put-in-place projects managed by Heery rose by $200 million last year, to $1.8 billion. James J. Moynihan, Pres., CEO
10 (10) $81.97 HKS Inc.
1919 McKinney Ave.
Dallas, TX 75201-1753
(214) 969-5599
HKS added a branch office in Atlanta last year, and started major projects all over the United States. A sampling of larger projects includes low-rise and high-rise offices and parking structures in Dallas, Houston and Westlake, Texas; sports and condominium projects and hospitals in Suffolk, Va.; Washington, D.C.; and Ogden, Utah. Some 15 percent of the firm's work involved design/build contracts. Ronald L. Skaggs, Chmn., CEO; C. Joe Buskuhl, Pres.
11 (4) $81.48 Leo A. Daly
8600 Indian Hills Drive
Omaha, NE 68114
(402) 391-8111
With billings off by about $6 million last year, the firm retrenched in the Sun Belt by expanding its offices in Orlando, Dallas and Phoenix. High-profile projects begun last year include an office tower in Shanghai, airport work in Houston and Los Angeles, a $200 million hotel and casino in Las Vegas and a 40-story headquarters building for First National Bank in its hometown, Omaha. Leo A. Daly, Chmn.; Ronald K. Leiferman, Vice Chmn.; Lucinda Ludwig , Bus. Dev.
12 (12) $81.00 HDR Inc.
8404 Indian Hills Drive
Omaha, NE 68114
(402) 399-1000
HDR broadened its engineering capabilities through an acquisition of Edward Consulting in Portland, Ore., in part explaining its huge leap in billings of more than 40 percent. About half of the firm's work was on industrial buildings last year, such as a 2.1 million-sq.-ft. facility for Micron Technology. Other large commissions included the headquarters of Bio-Rad Laboratories and the new Children's Hospital in Omaha. Richard Bell, Chmn.; Robert Cavigli, Pres.
13 (18) $76.50 Carlson Implementation Associates Inc.
959 Concord St., 2nd Floor
Framingham, MA 01701
(508) 370-0100
Billings for the company formerly known as Carlson Group jumped more than 60 percent last year. The company finished off a good year with a slew of high-tech projects. Large data centers were delivered on a design/build basis last year for Charles Schwab, Genuity, State Street Bank and DLJ/Pershing, contibuting to the $471.3 million worth of construction the firm put in place in 2000. William Johnson, Pres.; Paul Sexauer, Bus. Dev.
14 (11) $76.10 DLR Group
400 Essex Court, Regency Park
Omaha, NE 68114
(402) 393-4100
With its work split between commercial and institutional projects, DLR delivered 30 percent of its projects last year as part of design/build contracts. About 35 percent of the firm's work is for state/local governments, and about 20 percent for the federal government. Ongoing work includes sports facilities, schools, the new Omaha convention center and large prisons in Arizona and Oregon. Bryce D. Pearsall and Dale D. Hallock, Mng. Prins.; Kenneth Volz, Bus. Dev.
15 (7) $72.00 McClier
401 E. Illinois
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 836-7700
Firm's ranking and revenues both dropped from last year, in spite of growth in the food-service and aviation markets and better integration with parent company AECOM. A new contract with LSG Sky Chefs will yield some 200 flight kitchens worldwide; other projects are under way with American Airlines and United Cargo. About 90 percent of McClier's work is design/build; last year, it put in place construction valued at $328 million. Grant G. McCullagh, Chmn.
16 (16) $71.80 Kling Lindquist
2301 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 569-2900
Stunning 35 percent gain in billings appears attributable solely to organic growth last year. Numerous large projects contributed to the advance, including: consolidation of the FDA's 2 million square feet of headquarters offices; a 2.3 million-sq.-ft. headquarters for Wyeth Ayerst; a 1.4 million-sq.-ft. campus for Merrill Lynch; and a million-sq.-ft. warehouse for the U.S. Postal Service. Robert G. Thompson, CEO; Bradford W. Fiske, Prin.; Alan M.H. Sloan, Sr. Prin.
17 (26) $68.00 HLM Design
121 W. Trade Street, Suite 2950
Charlotte, N.C. 28202
(704) 358-0779
Vaulting back from a slide to 26th in last year's Design/Construct 300, HLM benefits from an acquisition in 2000 and internal growth. About two-thirds of the firm's work is for institutional clients, including research laboratories, state courthouses and hospitals. HLM delivered 40 percent of its work on a CM-at-risk basis. Joseph M. Harris, Pres., CEO; Vernon B. Brannon, Sr. VP., COO; J. Rossi, VP Mktg.
18 (17) $65.40 Hammel Green and Abrahamson Inc.
1201 Harmon Place
Minneapolis, MN 55403
(612) 337-4100
With 45 percent of its work delivered on a CM-at-risk basis, HGA focuses on corporate, health-care and arts/education work. Major commissions last year included medical campuses in Sacramento, Calif., and St. Cloud, Minn.; a performing-arts center in West Lafayette, Ind.; and two corporate headquarters projects in Eden Prairie, Minn., and Fridley, Minn. Daniel Avchen, CEO; Stephen Fiskum, COO; Julie Luers, Dir. Mktg.
19 (19) $52.49 Cannon Design
2170 Whitehaven Road
Grand Island, NY 14072
(716) 773-6800
In July of 2000, Cannon merged with Los Angeles-based Dworsky Associates, bringing the combined firm's practice to 75 design professionals in that city, and Robert L. Newsom was named managing principal of the office. The merger and organic growth raised billings by about 15 percent in a year marked by large projects for Texas Christian University, Yale University and the University of Massachusetts. Mark R. Mendell, Pres.; Gary R. Miller, CEO; Patrick Finn, Mktg.
20 (21) $47.04 Little & Associates Architects Inc.
5815 Westpark Drive
Charlotte, NC 28217
(704) 525-6350
A solid year for the firm saw national design principals named in key market sectors, including financial services, retail and community/education. Significant projects in those areas included Gateway Village, Charlotte, N.C.; a 10-acre urban redevelopment in Henderson, N.C.; redesign of the Biltmore Winery's retail space; and a home office for Muzak, Fort Mill, S.C. Philip Kuttner, CEO.; John Komisin, Pres., Chris Keber, Bus. Dev.
21 (28) $45.00 Flad & Associates
644 Science Drive P.O. Box 44977
Madison, WI 53744-4977
(608) 238-2661
Another strong year for Flad, following a decade of ramping up operations and staffing. Large 2000 projects include chemistry labs for Bayer Corp. and Pfizer and manufacturing facilities for Eli Lilly, Immunex and Chiron Corp. In the institutional sector, laboratories were under design for the University of Wisconsin and the University of California, Mission Bay. Ralph H. Jackson Jr. retired last year. Robert G. Graves, CEO; Rod Nesseth, Dir. Ops.; Laura Stillman, Bus. Dev
22 (20) $44.06 HLW International LLP
115 Fifth Ave.
New York, NY 10003
(212) 353-4600
Revenues dropped slightly for the firm last year for pure design work, although its specialty disciplines — workplace management, strategic facilities planning and HLW Design/Build — posted gains. HLW also led design/build projects totaling some $62.5 million last year, which accounted for more than half of its projects and almost five times as much billings as in 1999. Leevi Kiil, Chmn., CEO; Theodore S. Hammer, Vice Chmn.; Sabine Bartzke, Bus. Dev.
23 (27) $41.08 Albert Kahn Associates Inc.
7430 Second Ave.
Detroit, MI 48202-2798
(313) 202-7000
A 25 percent jump in billings came as a result of growth in its industrial work, including a 630,000-sq.-ft. Hummer assembly plant and a 795,000-sq.-ft. paint shop for GM. Institutional projects were also strong, including a master plan for the city of Hamtramck, Mich., and health-care projects for the University of Michigan, Aurora Health Care and Sparrow Health System. Gordon V.R. Holness, Chmn., CEO; Stephen Q. Whitney, Pres., CEO.
24 (22) $40.00 CUH2A Inc.
211 Carnegie Center
Princeton, NJ 08540-6298
(609) 452-1212
Changes to top management capped a year of slight contraction for CUH2A following record growth in 1999. Although only 10 percent of its business is from institutional clients, major 2000 commissions included laboratories and offices for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the University of Chicago, Rutgers University and the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park , in addition to its stable of pharmaceutical clients. Richard L. Henry, Pres.; R. James Del Grosso Rivers
25 (24) $38.59 Gresham, Smith and Partners
1400 Nashville City Center 511 Union St.
Nashville, TN 37219
(615) 770-8100
Design work of note last year includes health-care projects such as a children's hospital at Wake Forest University and $120 million of additions and renovations to Arlington (Va.) Hospital. GS&P also developed plans for airports in Baltimore and Dallas/Fort Worth The firm is also strong in civil engineering, which is not reflected in figure at left. Gary F. Hunt, CEO; Everett Cowan, COO; James Bearden, Bus. Dev.
26 (32) $35.47 Fanning/Howey Associates Inc.
1200 Irmscher Blvd.
Celina, OH 45822
(419) 586-2292
The firm's billings jumped by about 10 percent in 1999 and by almost a quarter last year, entirely propelled by organic growth and an exploding educational sector. To solidify its leadership in school design, the firm published the second edition of its Impact on Learning series and focused on urban schools and higher education. Major projects are underway in Key West, Raleigh, N.C., Upper St, Clair, Pa., and in Juneau and Anchorage, Alaska. Ronald H. Fanning, Chmn.
27 (36) $35.13 PageSoutherlandPage Architects
P.O. Box 2004
Austin, TX 48768
(512) 472-6721
Another year of gains in billings and project types for the firm, with such high-profile commissions as the Navy League Headquarters, Arlington, Va., expansion of the Austin (Texas) Convention Center; the Seay Biomedical Research Building in Dallas; and the Commerce Tower Condos in Houston. Less than 2 percent of the firm's revenues came from overseas. Last year, the firm organized as a limited-liability partnership. John Cryer III, Prin.; Matt Kriesle, Bus Dev.
28 (30) $31.18 OWP&P Architects
111 W. Washington
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 332-9600
OWP&P opened an office in Phoenix in January 2001, which has led to new commissions that are not reflected in the number at left. About two-thirds of its work was for institutional clients last year, and about half of all billings came from reconstruction projects. OWP&P is designing a new office tower in Chicago and is part of the design/build team working on a new terminal at O'Hare International Airport. Gary Wendt, CEO; John Syvertsen, Pres.; Dan Sullivan, Bus. Dev.
29 (33) $31.16 Burt Hill Kosar Rittelmann
400 Morgan Center
Butler, PA 16001-5977
(724) 477-1259
With its work split evenly between commercial and institutional projects, the firm designed numerous office and university projects last year, including the M/E/P design for the Grand Rapids, Mich. Van Andel Institute (see BD&C, May 2001). A new president was named for the firm last year. John E. Kosar, Vice Chmn.; Peter H. Moriarty, Pres., CEO; Thomas H. White, Bus. Dev.
30 (35) $30.20 CASCO Diversified
10877 Watson Road
St. Louis, MO 63127
(314) 821-1100
While the firm's name changed last year, its reliance on the commercial sector did not, with at least 95 percent of its work in franchise retail, hospitality chains and similar projects. Examples included projects for Extended Stay America, The Great Indoors, The Home Depot, Fresh 4 Less and United Artists Theaters. A few projects, including a large facility for International Paper, added revenue in the industrial category. James C. Alberts, Pres.; Ralph R. Shaw, EVP
31 (25) $29.90 HarleyEllis
26913 Northwestern Hwy., Suite 200
Southfield, MI 48034
(248) 262-1500
While the firm opened an office in Cincinnati and expanded its staff overall, overall billings actually shrank over the last year while backlogs increased by 120 percent. Major projects last year included a $180 million research facility for the University of Cincinnati and a master-plan implementation for General Motors Corp. Dennis M. King, Corp. Chmn.; Jim W. Page, Corp. Exec.; Gary L. Skog, Corp. Mktg.
32 (34) $29.17 Vitetta Group
4747 S. Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19112
(215) 218-4747
Growing 13 percent over the year, Vitetta has been busy with correctional and educational projects throughout the United States, and is also active in designing an expansion of the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Half of the firm's work is for state and local government, and about 30 percent of all its projects are reconstruction. Francis G. Vitetta, Chmn.; Alan P. Hoffmann, Pres.
33 (29) $28.90 Ewing Cole Cherry Brott Inc.
100 N. Sixth St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106-1590
(215) 923-2020
More new construction was registered last year for the firm, although at least half of its projects were reconstruction-related: interiors for PriceWaterhouse-Coopers; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.; and a performing arts center for Bryn Athen College of the New Church. Less than 1 percent of billings were foreign, including a $300 million horse-racing club in Singapore. J. Andrew Jarvis, CEO, Chmn.; James A. Wilson, Pres., COO.
34 (49) $28.01 RNL Design
1515 Arapahoe St. Tower 3, Suite 700
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 295-1717
RNL leaps from 49 on the listing last year, with billings that almost doubled, in part due to acquiring Costa Mesa, Calif.-based Klages Carter Vail, a design firm specializing in entertainment, hospitality and leisure projects. Major commissions last year included McLean Bible Church, Vienna, Va., Denver's National Jewish Research Center and the $125 million Civic Center Office Building, Denver. Philip Goedert, Prin.; Richard L. von Luhrte, Prin.; Lida Citröen, Bus. Dev.
35 (37) $27.20 Thomas Associates Architects + Engineers PC
215 The Commons
Ithaca, NY 14850
(607) 277-7100
This school-design specialist has boosted its earnings in part by the acquisition of BurrWood Engineering and in part by its founding membership in "America's Schoolhouse Council," a national consortium of design firms, where Thomas helped establish the Center for the 21 Century Schoolhouse in partnership with San Diego State University. The A/E firm opened new offices in Jamestown and White Plains, N.Y. David L. Elwyn, David J. Kuckuck, Ptnrs.
36 (31) $26.75 Reynolds, Smith and Hills Inc.
4561 Salisbury Road, Suite 400
Jacksonville, FL 32256-0901
(904) 296-2000
About half of the firm's design work was for commercial buildings, such as a new data center for ADT in Denver, the headquarters of the Educational Community Credit Union, Jacksonville, Fla., and airports in Jacksonville and Traverse City, Mich. In 2000, the firm started using Web-based project management on some of its projects. Leerie T. Jenkins Jr., Pres., CEO; David K. Robertson, COO; David E. Clavier; Bus. Dev.
37 (23) $26.52 Sasaki Associates Inc.
64 Pleasant St.
Watertown, MA 02472
(617) 926-3300
38 (41) $24.87 Symmes Maini & McKee Associates/SMMA
1000 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 547-5400
39 (—) $23.20 SHW Group
4000 McEwen Road North
Dallas, TX 75244
(972) 701-0700
40 (43) $23.04 BSA Design
9365 Counselors Row, Suite 300
Indianapolis, IN 46240-1479
(317) 819-7878
41 (42) $22.00 Ballinger
2005 Market St., Suite 1500
Philadelphia, PA 19103-7088
(215) 665-0900
42 (40) $21.92 The Durrant Group
426 N. 44th Street, Suite 300
Phoenix, AZ 85008
(602) 275-6830
43 (39) $21.63 TRO/The Ritchie Organization
80 Bridge St.
Newton, MA 02458-1134
(617) 969-9400
44 (44) $20.20 DES Architects + Engineers
399 Bradford St.
Redwood City, CA 94063
(650) 364-6453
45 (53) $19.82 FreemanWhite Inc.
8001 Arrowridge Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28273
(704) 523-2230
46 (50) $19.03 Rosser International Inc.
524 W. Peachtree St., N.W.
Atlanta, GA 30308
(404) 876-3800
47 (57) $18.00 The Stichler Group Inc.
9655 Granite Ridge, Suite 400
San Diego, CA 92123-2659
(619) 565-4440
48 (48) $17.80 Setter, Leach & Lindstrom
1100 Peavey Bldg., 730 Second Ave. So.
Minneapolis, MN 55402-2454
(612) 338-8741
49 (56) $17.22 Stevens & Wilkinson
100 Peachtree St., N.W., 25th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 522-8888
50 (45) $17.15 Odell Associates Inc.
Odell Plaza, 525 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC 28202-2143
(704) 414-1000
51 (52) $15.17 Phillips Swager Associates
401 SW Water Street, Suite 701
Peoria, IL 61604
(309) 282-8000
52 (59) $15.00 CSO Architects Engineers & Interiors
280 E. 96th Street, Suite 200
Indianapolis, IN 46240
(317) 848-7800
53 (58) $14.37 S/L/A/M Collaborative
80 Glastonbury Blvd.
Glastonbury, CT 06033-4415
(860) 657-8077
54 (47) $14.20 BSW International Inc.
One W. Third St., Suite 100
Tulsa, OK 74103-3501
(918) 582-8771
55 (—) $13.30 SMRT Architecture/Engineers/Planners
144 Fore Street
Portland, ME 04101
(207) 772-3846
56 (46) $13.26 Pierce Goodwin Alexander & Linville
5555 San Felipe, Suite 1000
Houston, TX 77056
(713) 622-1444
57 (54) $13.16 The Zimmerman Design Group
7707 Harwood Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53213
(414) 476-9500
58 (—) $12.16 WD Partners
1201 Dublin Road
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 221-0840
59 (55) $12.02 TMP Associates
1191 W. Square Lake Road, P.O. Box 289
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303
(248) 338-4561
60 (—) $10.03 Cromwell Architects Engineers Inc.
101 South Spring Street
Little Rock, Ark. 72201
(501) 372-2900

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