A sturdy local economy in 1999 combined with a strengthened real estate market led to another good year for L.A. County architecture firms. The 25 companies on this year’s list reported combined revenues of $432.6 million for 1999 compared to $388.5 million in 1998, an increase of 11.4 percent.
The companies on the list had no shortage of large and diversified projects last year, including the new Rand Corp. headquarters, the Howard Hughes Center, the Universal CityWalk expansion, the UCLA Westwood replacement hospital, the County-USC Medical Center replacement hospital, the UCLA Cancer Institute and the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.
Commercial building permits in L.A. County, which jumped a whopping 55 percent from 1997 to 1998 with $1.1 billion worth of projects, increased again to $1.3 billion in projects for 1999, according to the Construction Industry Research Board. Meanwhile, industrial building permits added up to $361.1 million in projects, up from $307 million in 1998.
Daniel, Mann, Johnson & Mendenhall (DMJM)
For the tenth year running, Daniel, Mann, Johnson & Mendenhall (DMJM) has topped the list of the top architectural firms in Los Angeles County in terms of local billings. The firm’s 1999 revenues, although down 5.3 percent from 1998’s $66 million, still place DMJM well ahead of its closest competition, Gensler, with 1999 revenues of $44 million.
The company continues to expand its geographical reach, merging last year with Spillis Candela & Partners, Florida’s oldest and largest architectural and engineering firm. With the merger, DMJM increased its presence throughout the Eastern U.S. and in Latin America.
Locally, the firm secured two of L.A.’s most coveted commercial assignments the new Santa Monica headquarters for Rand, and a new building on the Howard Hughes Center property. Other jobs included the program and project management for the city of Santa Monica and a hotel renovation for Marriott in Marina del Rey. Internationally, construction is nearing completion on the headquarters for Korea Development Bank in Seoul, and the DMJM Rottet interiors team was selected to design executive offices for the Bank of China in Shanghai.
DMJM is an operating unit of AECOM Technology Corp., a Los Angeles-based holding company for architectural, engineering, and operation/maintenance firms. Last year, AECOM, which is employee-owned, was ranked 14th on the Business Journal’s list of the largest private companies in L.A. County with $850 million in annual revenues.