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S/L/A/M/ Collaborative grows significantly in deal with CBRE

The architectural firm acquires five of Heery’s practices and adds 70 people.

March 11, 2020 |

S/L/A/M Collaborative added practices and markets through its acquisition of parts of Heery from CBRE. Image: S/L/A/M Collaborative

S/L/A/M Collaborative, the national architectural firm based in Glastonbury, Conn., on March 6 completed its acquisition of five Heery architectural design practices from CBRE. The terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

The practices—focused on healthcare, sports facilities, and justice—are now known as Heery Design, a SLAM Studio. CBRE had owned Heery International, a project management and design engineering firm based in Atlanta, since October 2017 when it acquired the business for $57 million from Balfour Beatty. After the deal with S/L/A/M, CBRE retains full ownership of Heery’s interior design and engineering businesses that are integral to its project management services.

About 70 of Heery’s employees are coming over in this deal, joining 210 S/L/A/M professionals. Heery’s healthcare practice is located in Denver, Iowa City, Iowa, and Philadelphia. Its justice practice is in Orlando, Fla. And its sports design practice is in Atlanta. Heery Design offices associated with these practices are also part of this acquisition, along with the firm’s architectural book of business.

“The professionals joining S/L/A/M in this transaction are returning to a traditional design firm that values creativity, and is passionate about design,” said Richard T. Connell, FAIA, S/L/A/M’s chairman, in a prepared statement. Those professionals include Heery Design’s managing directors Russ Sedmak, Mike Holleman, and Douglas Kleppin, AIA, LEED AP.

S/L/A/M’s design portfolio includes healthcare, education, corporate and sports facilities. The firm provides integrated landscape architecture, structural engineering, interior design and construction services, with offices in Connecticut, New York, Atlanta, Boston, and Los Angeles.

A source knowledgeable about this deal, who spoke on background, said that a third party representing CBRE had approached a handful of firms, including S/L/A/M, at the beginning of 2018 about their interest in acquiring parts of Heery. This source said that CBRE was primarily interested in finding a buyer willing to acquire all five of the practices it wanted to shed.

This source adds that what CBRE is holding onto from its Heery purchase is a “much larger” piece than what it is selling to S/L/A/M.

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