Observe: This story has been up to date with enter from MCA President Stephen Bates acquired after publication.
A neighborhood structure agency has joined up with a bigger peer, bringing a brand new title to Richmond’s design scene.
Chesterfield-based KOP Architects was acquired this month by Marshall Craft Associates, a 35-year-old agency headquartered in Baltimore.
The deal was signed Feb. 17 and took impact Feb. 28. Phrases weren’t disclosed.
The mix brings MCA’s employees depend to about 40, with KOP principals Ed Gillikin and Don Guthrie becoming a member of MCA’s management as principals and stockholders. KOP founder Hal Downing, who began the agency in 1992, continues to work part-time as a part of the native workplace’s four-person workforce.
That workplace — at 211 Ruthers Highway, Suite 203, off Midlothian Turnpike — is changing an MCA workplace in Reston as the corporate’s sole Virginia outpost. The corporate additionally has an workplace in Pennsylvania.
Guthrie, who joined KOP in 2007 after an eight-year stint at Moseley Architects, mentioned conversations with MCA began about 18 months in the past via Gillikin, who had a reference to somebody on the agency.
“We’re a really small agency, not in contrast to a variety of structure corporations, and it gave us a possibility to have extra sources to attract from and increase the kinds of tasks that we are able to work on,” Guthrie mentioned of the deal.
“It gave them a possibility to have extra attain into Virginia. They’ve finished somewhat bit of labor in Northern Virginia, however this was a manner for them to get with a longtime agency that had a variety of contacts inside Virginia to increase their enterprise.”
MCA President Stephen Bates mentioned discussions between the corporations began when a mutual acquaintance advisable KOP whereas MCA was vying for a behavioral well being mission in Henrico County.
“Sadly we didn’t get that mission, however what was extra necessary for us is it began a pleasant relationship with the fellows at KOP,” Bates mentioned. “They each are Virginia Tech grads; they met the primary day of band camp at Virginia Tech. I’m a Hokie, our vp is a Hokie.
“What actually struck me in regards to the agency past simply the 2 people operating it was their company tradition is similar to ours, and their kinds of shoppers had been similar to ours,” he mentioned. “We simply struck it off.”
The businesses have since collaborated on COVID response tasks for the Virginia Emergency Administration Affiliation. Bates mentioned the pandemic additionally factored into the timing of their enterprise deal.
“We began placing collectively a letter of intent, after which COVID struck,” he mentioned. “We determined to place the entire dialog on pause. We weren’t actually positive – I don’t assume anybody was on the time – what was occurring with the economic system, what was going to occur with our shoppers.”
Bates mentioned they’re interviewing for brand new positions for the Richmond workplace, which Guthrie mentioned will proceed with KOP’s four-person employees and develop over time.
“Our long-term objectives are undoubtedly to increase the workplace,” Guthrie mentioned.
Guthrie mentioned KOP had developed a distinct segment in state contract work and likewise took on personal design tasks. The firm designed the Social 52 Kitchen & Craft Bar within the Fan, as well as renovations to VCU’s Ackell Residence Heart.
VCU is amongst shoppers that it brings to MCA, in addition to VCU Well being, the Virginia Museum of Effective Arts and the Federal Reserve Financial institution of Richmond.
Based in 1986, MCA focuses on structure, inside design and different companies in areas together with greater schooling, healthcare and federal authorities. Examples of its work embrace a chapel restoration and several other constructing renovations on the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland, and varied amenities on the College of Maryland and Johns Hopkins College.
MCA’s arrival in Richmond follows different corporations which have arrange outposts right here, together with New York-based ENV and D.C.-based Hickok Cole. D.C.’s Quinn Evans Architects acquired Richmond firm BCWH in 2018. Wisconsin-based Kahler Slater arrived a year earlier.