FitzGerald Associates Architects saw tremendous growth in its’ suburban portfolio in 2014 according to company president Mike DeRouin. “We completed zoning and design assignments in no less than eleven suburbs last year,” DeRouin reported. “From Highland Park and Glenview to the North, to Bloomingdale, Wheaton and Naperville to the west and Palos Heights and Orland Park to the South, we have broadened our reach outside of our urban core portfolio.”
Recently completed Midtown Square in Glenview is a case in point. Relying on FitzGerald’s core competencies of developing zoning strategies, responding to programmatic and design requirements, negotiating with planning and zoning officials, completing code compliant construction documentation and providing construction administration in the suburbs Midtown Square was completed within Trammell Crow’s budget and schedule and even garnering a “Best Block” Charter Award by the Illinois Chapter of the Congress for the New Urbanism.
“We’ve been known for decades as ‘urban architects,’” notes Principal Richard Whitney. “Having completed many high-density, urban infill sites and reused nearly two hundred existing buildings for new uses over many decades of service, our reputation as being strictly urban is not surprising.”
“We made a conscious attempt to take what we’ve learned about commercial and residential design in the city and taken that experience to the suburbs and with considerable success,” adds Whitney. “A few years ago we brought aboard a new partner Mike Cody, who through his former company, Cody Design Group, was focused exclusively in the suburbs. His diverse portfolio of retail and commercial clients was appealing to us not solely for its intrinsic value but as a springboard to expanding our base of operations. Now fully integrated into FitzGerald, Mike has been successful in increasing our suburban client base.”
“In terms of numbers of projects, the suburban market is actually generating more development activity than Chicago for FitzGerald. While the suburbs don’t offer the opportunities for scale that Chicago does, this market is rich for opportunities as suburban municipalities seek to create new downtowns and mixed-use, transit-oriented developments,” says DeRouin. “We are very optimistic about this pattern continuing for several more years.”