Firms on the move

Although the pace has slackened, civil engineering firms continue to invest in growth through mergers, acquisitions, and office expansions. "Movers" this month include Bonestroo, AMEC, KCI Technologies, and Black & Veatch.

Bonestroo, a full-service engineering and planning firm based in St. Paul, Minn., plans to merge with Northern Environmental, an environmental consulting firm with a staff of 80 scientists, geologists, hydrologists, and engineers located in offices throughout the Upper Midwest. The merger, effective May 1, is part of a growth strategy to broaden services to public, private, industrial, and energy sector clients. Northern Environmental specializes in environmental compliance and industrial hygiene, property assessment and development/redevelopment, contaminant investigation and remediation, and natural resources management. The two organizations will operate under the Bonestroo name.

AMEC, an international engineering and project management company, agreed to purchase Philips Engineering Ltd., a 70-person Canadian engineering firm located near Toronto, in Burlington, Ontario. The company specializes in engineering services relating to highway and municipal engineering, water resources, structural (buildings and bridges), and land development. According to AMEC, the acquisition will enable it to provide a complete civil engineering consultancy service to public- and private-sector clients in Eastern Canada.

KCI Technologies, Inc., a multi-disciplined engineering firm with offices in the Northeast, Southeast, and Mid-Atlantic, aquired Jacobs Environmental, Inc., a Maryland-based company specializing in industrial hygiene, environmental compliance, occupational safety and health, and toxicology. According to KCI, the acquisition allows the firm to expand its environmental services, as well as its industrial and private-sector client base.

Black & Veatch is purchasing its world headquarters building in Overland Park, Kan., for $60 million. The company’s two-year real-estate analysis included evaluation of approximately 40 alternatives and resulted in a decision to purchase the existing site and to redevelop the existing building. Enhancements will include extensive workspace, common area, and facility upgrades; improved HVAC and energy management systems; external landscaping; and improvements in controlling stormwater runoff and providing rainwater reuse systems. In addition, a solar courtyard, solar canopy, bio garden, and an innovation pavilion are planned for the world headquarters. The building, expanded to 600,000 square-feet in 1996, reportedly is the largest office building in Kansas. The site could ultimately accommodate more than 3,400 of Black & Veatch’s Kansas City-area employees.


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