Cincinnati’s SFA Architects Inc. rebranding to Elevar Design Group after merger bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2018/01/19/one-of-cincinnati-s-largest-architecture-firms.html
One of the largest architectural firms in Greater Cincinnati is rebranding after acquiring two other local firms. SFA Architects Inc., which acquired PDT Architects in 2009 and Roth Partnership in 2016 and operated the two as subsidiary firms, is changing its name for the combined company to Elevar Design Group. The newly named firm is preparing to move to its new headquarters in Queensgate and is looking to grow at a rapid pace. Tom Fernandez, principal in charge of Elevar, said he had the vision to grow outside SFA’s market areas of education and research. He wanted the firm to become a significant player in the marketplace about a decade ago. “I wanted to create a firm that was much more diverse in offerings to employees,” Fernandez said. “I want them to get the full breadth of what’s out there.” It has taken some time, but the combined Elevar is now one of the five largest architecture firms in the region. The name Elevar is Spanish for “to lift or raise.” It pays homage to SFA’s history, founded by Emilio Fernandez. The firm’s founder escaped from Cuba in 1960, eventually moving to Cincinnati and founding SFA in 1967. SFA is actually the youngest of the three legacy firms. Roth Partnership was founded in 1933 and PDT Architects was founded in 1949. Kim Patton, chief operating officer of Elevar, said the firm is expecting to see significant growth. Elevar received a $300,000 state revitalization grant and some assistance from the city of Cincinnati for its new headquarters project. In return, Elevar was expected to add 25 new jobs within three years of the development being completed. The firm expects to surpass that number by the time it moves into its new headquarters building in March. Elevar’s recent and current projects include the $50 million River Haus, the $17 million Vontz Center for Molecular Studies building envelope improvements and the $20 million Kenton County Administrative Campus at the former Bavarian Brewery. In 2015, SFA Architects had 19 local registered architects and $11.8 million in local architectural billings. Last year, SFA Architects grew to 25 architects, but declined to disclose billings. Today, the firm has 80 total employees, up from 63 a year ago. Fernandez expects Elevar’s annual growth of 15 percent to 20 percent to continue. 1/2
Read about the rebrand in the Cincinnati Business Courier.