WMU News

Kalamazoo firm selects BTR Park for headquarters

Jan. 16, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- A Kalamazoo-area engineering and consulting firm with a growing business in restoration engineering and renovation in the nation's urban areas will move its corporate headquarters to Western Michigan University's Business Technology and Research Park.

StructureTec Corp., an 11-year-old Kalamazoo-based business, will open the doors Monday, Feb. 3, to its new location in the Pro Line Tech Building, 4777 Campus Drive. The company will occupy 3,600 square feet of space in the 24,000-square-foot multi-tenant building that already has leased space to two other engineering firms. StructureTec is the 12th firm to commit to the BTR Park.

The firm, currently located on Kalamazoo's west side, specializes in structural maintenance consulting for buildings and restoration of exterior building envelopes. StructureTec enjoys a registered U.S. trademark for consulting services involving analysis and remediation of building structures. The company's services include infrared structural scans of buildings and systems, and data management of facilities information.

StructureTec currently has a work force of 24, 16 of whom work in the company's Kalamazoo offices. The firm currently has offices in Chicago and Detroit as well, and the company is looking at the Cleveland area as its next urban location.

"The growth in our business is definitely in large urban areas," says Jeffrey L. Brittan, president, chief executive officer and the company's founder. "The BTR Park, however, offered an environment that gave us a viable opportunity to maintain the company headquarters here in Kalamazoo."

Brittan, who anticipates his staff will grow by about 10 positions over the next 18 months, says locating in the park will allow the company to capitalize on its already extensive history of recruiting WMU students both for internships and for professional positions with StructureTec. By being near WMU's College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, which will open nearby in 2003, Brittan expects StructureTec personnel to interact with talented engineering students early in their college careers. He says the BTR location also will provide an opportunity for the company to establish relationships with faculty researchers in the University's civil, computer and construction engineering disciplines.

While the initial focus for the firm will be on relationships in the University's engineering disciplines, Brittan also expects his company to benefit from relationships with the University's

Haworth College of Business and with other firms located at the BTR Park.

"We're a company that is transitioning and we anticipate we will seek support in the areas of marketing, finance and accounting," Brittan says. "We're also excited about the synergy that will come from being part of a Michigan SmartZone with other technical firms and the kind of cross-pollination of ideas that being part of that environment will bring."

Locally, StructureTec has completed projects for the Comstock, Kalamazoo and Portage Public Schools, Borgess Medical Center and Bronson Methodist Hospital. Clients also have included Pharmacia Corp., the Kellogg Co., Mead Johnson, Michigan State University, and Whirlpool Corp.

The University's Business Technology and Research Park is located on its new 265-acre Parkview Campus, situated just south of WMU's main campus in Kalamazoo. The park, which has been designated a Michigan SmartZone by the Michigan Economic Development Corp., is home to a growing number of high-tech firms as well as the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center, a technology business accelerator. The Parkview Campus also will be home to an engineering complex that will house WMU's College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and a Paper Coating Pilot Plant for research. The college's new home is scheduled to open in 2003, while its paper coating research facility opened last fall.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 269 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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