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Engineering firm expands into new Newport News office building

Virginian  Pilot logo Virginian Pilot 7/6/2020 By Trevor Metcalfe, The Virginian-Pilot

For Virginia engineering firm Draper Aden Associates, a new office in Newport News is more than a building.

It’s a sign that the company is growing right along with the area’s economic development, and that it’s invested in the region, said Ken Piazza, chief operating officer.

“We see this as one of our frontiers,” Piazza said. “We see this as one of our growth areas.”

The company is the first new tenant to lease an office at 2 BayPort Way, a three story, 56,400-square-foot building, and will occupy 4,950 square feet — twice the size of the firm’s previous office on Thimble Shoals Boulevard.

There’s a good reason for that change, Piazza said. During the past five years, the number of Draper Aden staff members in Hampton Roads has grown threefold to 15 people in Virginia Beach and 16 in Newport News.

Piazza said several factors have contributed to the growth. The area has a great talent pool for engineers and other staff members the firm needs. Additionally, economic development and other growth is providing plenty of new projects on both sides of the water from municipalities, private developers and other contractors.

“We are seeing across the board, for many of our services, a much greater potential for workload,” Piazza said.

The new office includes lots of natural light and an open-space floor plan. It also has space for up to 24 people — room for the company to continue to expand on the Peninsula.

The firm also got a chance to work on its own office construction. The firm provided site design services for the building, including surveying, civil engineering, geotechnical engineering and subsurface utility engineering.

Draper Aden was founded in Blacksburg in 1972 by two Virginia Tech graduates. The firm is headquartered in Richmond and has offices in Virginia, North Carolina and the Washington, D.C. area. In Hampton Roads, the firm has worked on sites like the American Revolution Museum in Yorktown, Portsmouth’s water and sewer system and the College of William & Mary’s Integrated Science Center.

Trevor Metcalfe, 757-222-5345, trevor.metcalfe@insidebiz.com

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