Designers Share The Wealth Throughout The Midwest
The leading players remain the same, but design dollars are being spread further as the region continues to slowly recover
As public spending ramps up, design firms in the Midwest will continue to reap increased work. But as recoveries go, this one is a long, old row to hoe.
In terms of pecking order, there was no change atop the revenue ranking of design firms working in the Midwest in 2015. As the charts on the following pages show, the top five companies remained in the exact order as in last year’s survey.
Click Here to View the 2016 Midwest Top Design Firms
AECOM led the way at $361.3 million in revenue from Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin, but this was down from $430.54 million in 2014. Collectively, the top five firms of AECOM, Burns & McDonnell, Arcadis North America, HNTB Corp. and WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff had revenue of about $1.03 billion, down 11.35% from $1.12 billion; of those five firms only WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff was up year over year.
Companies ranking in this year’s top 10 posted regional revenue of about $1.53 billion, down 14% from $1.64 billion in 2014. Within that group, DLZ Corp. jumped to No. 9 from No. 10 with a modest 0.83% gain to $91.21 million from $90.46 million in 2014; by comparison, this year’s 10th-ranked company had revenue of $80.43 million.
Overall, business is slowly improving in the Midwest, “but it depends on the state,” says Ram Rajadhyaksha, vice president of DLZ Corp., the Midwest Design Firm of the Year.
“The growth has been more on the private side,” adds Shyam Rajadhyaksha, vice president and corporate secretary, “and we’re more government, so we haven’t experienced as much yet.”
If the top 20 firms are an indication, the work is being spread out. Whereas the top 10 companies reported a collective decrease in Midwest design revenue, firms ranked from No. 11 to No. 20 reported a 7.9% increase over 2014. The 20th-ranked firm this year, Woolpert Inc., had revenue of $55.22 million; last year’s 20th-ranked firm had $45.19 million. However, that firm, Alfred Benesch & Co., rose to No. 14 on this year’s list, growing revenue by a very strong 16.3%, to $61.47 million.
How does your Midwest firm size up? As always, we’re keen to know.