Shive-Hattery acquires Tucson architecture firm

This Tucson (Arizona) Fire Central Headquarters in Barrio Viejo, a historic neighborhood in downtown Tucson, was designed by WSM Architects, which recently was acquired by Shive-Hattery, headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. CREDIT SHIVE-HATTERY

Iowa-based Shive-Hattery is expanding its footprint into the Southwest with the acquisition of WSM Architects, Inc., based in Tucson, Arizona.

Shive-Hattery, headquartered in Cedar Rapids, announced this week that it acquired the 13-person architecture firm, which will be its first office outside the Midwest. Details of the financial transaction were not disclosed.  

WSM Architects will operate as WSM Architects, a Division of Shive-Hattery, Inc. Paul Mickelberg, principal of WSM Architects, will continue to lead the Tucson office. 

Paul Mickelberg

“Shive-Hattery and WSM Architects are both built on a foundation of strong client service,” Shive-Hattery President Jennifer Bennett said in a news release. “We remain steadfast in providing a continuity in service with the best depth of talent from across our design firm.” 

Jennifer Bennett

Shive-Hattery is a 450-person architecture and engineering firm with design offices now in Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin. Ms. Bennett said the company is 100% employee-owned, and “today some of that ownership is in our Tucson office.”  

“Remote work technology has made this possible where we can customize the best team for each client, regardless of whether our designers are located in the Midwest or Southwest, in order to create a seamless experience which our clients value, appreciate and expect,” she added. 

Historically, Shive-Hattery has been a Midwest firm, but Ms. Bennett told the QCBJ, “There are many reasons for our strategy to expand beyond the Midwest. One of those reasons is to be closer to our clients outside of the Midwest while providing opportunities in new markets.”  

In the release, Mr. Mickelberg said the firms “share a strong culture fit that is mutually beneficial for our clients and design team.” 

“Joining Shive-Hattery enhances and complements our values, and we look forward to being a part of a larger team to provide more design capabilities for our clients and growth opportunities for our employees,” he added. 

Ms. Bennett said the company’s goal in acquisitions “is to find a great fit.” “From the start of our conversations with WSM Architects, they just felt like ‘us.’”

“We are looking forward to working together, learning from each other, and being something ‘bigger’ together,” she told the QCBJ. 

The acquisition comes more than six months after Shive-Hattery opened a new Quad Cities design office at 2144 56th Ave. West, Bettendorf. The company traces its history in the Quad Cities back more than 50 years beginning with a location in Davenport in 1966 and moving 20 years later to downtown Moline before relocating to the new Bettendorf facility in 2021.  

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