Spokane Journal of Business

NAC|Architecture merges with LA-area firm

Prominent design concern makes leadership changes

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Spokane-based NAC|Architecture says it has merged with Osborn Architects, a smaller Southern California design firm.

The combined firm currently is operating under the NAC name, but is investigating whether to rebrand the firm with a new name and logo, says Marty Orchard, NAC’s Spokane-based marketing manager.

The announcement comes on the heels of the firm naming a new CEO and a new board chairman.

Former competitors NAC and Osborn plan to combine their Los Angeles-area offices in a new location in Chinatown in downtown Los Angeles by year-end, Orchard says.

“From our perspective, this grows our staff by a fair amount and our influence in Los Angeles,” Orchard says. “This doubles NAC’s LA presence and expands our services.”

NAC’s Los Angeles staff now consists of 40 people—the full staff from both Osborn’s and NAC’s Los Angeles-area offices.

The merger will add Osborn’s landscape architecture, graphic design, and environmental graphics dis-ciplines to NACs multidisciplinary practice.

“Our intent to make these services available in Spokane,” Orchard says.

NAC’s longstanding areas of emphasis include architecture, planning, construction management, and engineering disciplines.

Osborn principals Michael Pinto and Timothy Ballard will join NAC principal Helena Jubany as principals at the Los Angeles office to complete the merger. Ballard also will join Jubany as a member of NAC’s six-person board of directors.

NAC announ-ced the merger last week, barely a week after naming Dana Harbaugh president and CEO of NAC, and appointing former CEO Bruce Blackmer as NAC’s board chairman.

Under Blackmer’s 11-year term as CEO, NAC added the Los Angeles office and an office in Denver, elevating the firm to a position among Architect Magazine’s top 50 architectural firms in the U.S.

Harbaugh, a 20-year NAC veteran who most recently was chief practice officer, continues his leadership roles in a diverse mix of projects, including the Rockwood Retirement Community Summit Tower, the North Central High School STEM addition, and a student housing expansion at Montana State University.

NAC is the largest architectural firm in Spokane, with a staff of 58 people here, including 20 licensed architects. Its roots here date back to 1960.

The firm opened its Los Angeles office about eight years ago. Osborn has been located in Glendale, Calif., a community in north-central LA for some 35 years.

NAC also has an office in Seattle, which might see new business because of the Osborn merger, says Julie Taylor, a Los Angeles-based spokeswoman for the firm.

“Osborn has been working with a charter school entity in Southern California that wants to establish a presence in (Western) Washington,” Taylor says, adding that NAC will lend some familiarity with the area that Osborn didn’t have prior to the merger.

Mike McLean
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Deputy Editor Mike McLean has worked his entire journalism career in the Inland Northwest. Mike, who also lives to reel in fish and crank up music, has worked for the Journal since 2006.

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