OHM Merges with Bird Houk Collaborative to Advance Communities: Urban, Suburban Renewal Work Brings Firms Together

What happens when you take engineers and architects committed to Advancing Communities and mix them together with architects, planners and urban designers who practice Placemaking everyday? We can't wait to find out! OHM, an engineering and architectural firm headquartered in Livonia, MI with additional offices in Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee announced a merger with Bird Houk, a land planning, urban design and architectural firm in Columbus, Ohio. Can Buckeyes and Wolverines work nicely together?

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OHM President John Hiltz

“What really gets me excited is the opportunity to help cities redevelop because of shifting economic bases,” says Hiltz. “Merging our public sector focus with Bird Houk’s urban planning and public/private partnership experience is gold."

Livonia, MI and Columbus, OH (PRWEB) March 31, 2010

Orchard, Hiltz & McCliment, Inc.(OHM) an engineering and architectural firm headquartered in Livonia, MI with additional offices in Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee announced a merger with Bird Houk, a land planning, urban design and architectural firm in Columbus, Ohio.

The merger integrates OHM’s public-sector focused architectural design, civil, environmental and transportation engineering, surveying and GIS services to municipalities, agencies and institutions with Bird Houk’s award-winning architectural design, urban planning, and economic analysis serving both private and public sectors.

OHM President John Hiltz said Bird Houk will retain its name becoming a “Division of OHM”. Founding partners Jim Houk and Gerry Bird, along with Gary Sebach and Anthony Slanec will become partners in OHM and will manage the Columbus Bird Houk/OHM Division office and team of 22 staff members, which will include engineers from OHM’s Columbus branch, at their Creekside Gahanna headquarters. Bird Houk is known throughout the mid-Ohio region for many signature projects, including Creekside Gahanna, Cardinal Health, Jerome Village, and Saxony in the Town of Fishers, Indiana.

According to Hiltz and Houk, the impetus for the merger was growth.

“Our mission is to advance communities,” said OHM’s Hiltz. “And that mission is in sync with Bird Houk’s ‘place making’. Our goal was to step out of our geographic area and add services and disciplines that continue to add value for our clients – especially as we recognize there is a ‘new normal’ which has not yet been defined.” Hiltz was referring to cities, towns and villages needing to redevelop old infrastructure for the communities of tomorrow.

“What really gets me excited is the opportunity to help those cities that need to redevelop because of shifting economic bases,” says Hiltz. “Merging our public sector focus with Bird Houk’s urban planning and public/private partnership experience means that we can really make a difference to communities in the Midwest.

Jim Houk says his firm’s goal has always been regional growth, “The merger will accelerate regional growth and open doors to new markets and opportunities. We have always felt our multidisciplinary make-up is a benefit to our clients, and an integral part of what makes our thinking holistic, our processes streamlined and our solutions sustainable. The merger with OHM adds more disciplines to our practice and the ability to continue our success in creating community revitalization/redevelopment public-private partnerships.”

Hiltz said OHM began courting potential partners in 2009. He said it was not about the where – but the who. People, core values and vision were the key criteria they were seeking for collaboration.
“When we met the Bird Houk partners we felt the energy - the shared values of integrity, focus on people, approach to market and value-based asset creation. It was not a matter of convincing us to do this – it was a matter of finding the ‘no’ – why shouldn’t we do this,” stated Hiltz.

“We hope eventually to grow jobs both in Michigan, and in the Columbus office,” said Hiltz. “There’s very little overlap in the companies. These are complementary firms with complementary disciplines.”

About OHM
Orchard, Hiltz & McCliment, Inc. (OHM) is an award-winning architectural and engineering firm committed to Advancing Communities. OHM was founded in Livonia, MI in 1962 where their headquarters exists today, with additional offices in Lansing, Houghton and Auburn Hills, MI, Columbus, OH and in Gallatin, TN. Nearly 170 employees dedicate their time and talents to OHM including architects, engineers, surveyors, LEED accredited professionals and information technology professionals. OHM has been named an Elite Winner in the Michigan Business & Professional Association’s 101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For and a Detroit Free Press Top Workplaces.
For more information http://www.ohm-advisors.com

About Bird Houk
Founded in 1993 by Jim Houk and Gerry Bird in Columbus, OH, Bird Houk is an award-winning design firm that creates holistically sustainable solutions through economic analysis, architecture, urban design and planning. Bird Houk's 20-member team includes architects, landscape architects, financial and real estate personnel, city and regional planners, LEED accredited professionals, and interior design partners who strive for long-term positive results for communities and organizations. Bird Houk combines real estate and development knowledge with broad public and private sector design experience to create lasting and viable places that make life better for people. Bird Houk’s client roster includes Fortune 500 companies, school districts, private land owners, developers, townships, municipalities, and retailers. For more information http://www.bird-houk.com

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