Corgan Diversifies, Comes Out Ahead
“Folks within the firm find something they are aligned with, and we support their promotion of it,” Morris says. Paradise adds that Corgan has not cut back on charitable contributions during the recession.
David Lind, chairman of Corgan, also serves as chairman of Downtown Dallas, which promotes a vibrant city environment, economic competitiveness and a culturally inclusive urban core.
The firm aims to find the best way to solve clients’ problems and meet their needs, mindful of schedule, budget and functionality. Its associates take a consultative approach to presenting information and reaching decisions.
“The process is one of the most important parts; it’s not just product,” Morris says. “You have to identify what is really important to the client. That takes some listening and close attention to the needs so you know what they want.”
Employing a successful strategy
That has resulted in 90% repeat business, year after year. Corgan says it has worked for Dallas-based American Airlines for decades.
“American Airlines has frequently engaged Corgan’s services literally throughout the world on a wide variety of projects,” says Laura Einspanier, the airline’s vice president of corporate real estate. “Corgan has proven itself to be a global leader in virtually all aspects of aviation design. They are competitive, and their highly experienced and qualified leaders drive a strong company culture of collaboration, creativity and innovation.”
Morris adds, “Once we have a chance to work for somebody, it generally sticks.”
The Health Care Services Corp. of Richardson, Texas, hired Corgan to design its Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas headquarters, completed in 2010, and was so pleased with the finished building that it hired the firm to design a data center in Fort Worth.
“Corgan is very resourceful and user friendly,” says Andrew J. Pini, divisional senior vice president for Corporate Real Estate & Development at Health Care Services. “They are high interaction and value based. You get a lot for your time and dollars.”
Collaboration holds for professional associations as well. Eric Krueger, senior vice president and division chief relationship officer at Balfour Beatty Construction, praised Corgan’s collaborative approach to projects. In addition to Parkland Hospital, the firms have worked together on the completed One Arts Plaza, a 24-story, 1.1-million-sq-ft, mixed-use structure in Dallas. “We enjoy working with people who have a high degree of respect for others,” says Krueger. “We work very well as a team. The leadership is involved, and they are in tune with the community.”
VAI Architects has associated with Corgan on many projects over the years, including Parkland and the DFW airport redevelopment program. “Corgan Associates is highly regarded for its professionalism and openness to associating with its peers in the design industry,” says William Vidaud, VAI principal. “On more recent projects, our two firms are utilizing the latest building information modeling [BIM] technologies, working seamlessly as a production team on an integrated production model.”
Corgan has a long history of embracing technology, purchasing one of the first CAD workstations in 1983 for $500,000, according to Morris. “It was all of the money we had, but Jack Corgan had the vision that this was the way the world was going to go,” says the executive, who was one of the firm’s first CAD operators. “Despite the difficulty and cost and risk of getting into it, we went that way.” Morris now views BIM in the same light—the way of the future.
Looking ahead, Morris expects the data center and aviation markets to continue to grow as the need for technology increases at a rapid rate and the need remains to upgrade aging U.S. airport facilities. In addition, the international demand for airports is expanding.
As other markets start to rebound, Paradise says Corgan will be ready, because the same team members who completed successful past projects are still in place. “We were able to get even stronger during the down economy and are well positioned to stay on the edge and capture the majority of large projects in town,” Paradise says.