Richmond firm finds bluegrass-country buyer

Hankins Anderson

In a deal announced July 1, Mason & Hanger bought Glen Allen-based Hankins & Anderson.

Another local architecture firm has been snatched up by an out-of-town suitor.

Glen Allen-based Hankins & Anderson, known for designing U.S. government buildings overseas, was purchased by Lexington, Kentucky-based Mason & Hanger, a part of construction and engineering giant Day & Zimmermann. The deal was announced July 1. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“We add a portfolio of government clients we don’t have, as well as a different geographic base,” former Hankins & Anderson president Mike Matthews said of the acquisition.

Matthews, who led Hankins & Anderson for 18 years, has been appointed the new president of the combined Mason & Hanger organization. The company is organized under Day & Zimmerman’s government services department.

While both companies service the federal government by designing secure facilities, Matthews said they haven’t competed for business. Hankins & Anderson generates a lot of its business by designing U.S. foreign embassies for the State Department, including those in Johannesburg, South Africa and Kyiv, Ukraine. It also does design work for the FBI, Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security, among other federal organizations.

Mason & Hanger customers are primarily military-based, including the U.S. Navy and National Guard.   

“Everything is federal contracts, but it’s a very different mix of clients,” Matthews said. “We haven’t competed once, which is one of the beauties of (the acquisition).”

Hankins Anderson building

Hankins & Anderson has this office in Glen Allen, and others in Woodbridge and Virginia Beach. Photo by Michael Shaw.

For Mason & Hanger, the deal marks a return to its roots. The firm was founded in Virginia two centuries ago as a railroad engineer and had its first office in Richmond. It then moved west to Kentucky as lines expanded in that direction.

In addition to Glen Allen, Hankins & Anderson has offices in Woodbridge and Virginia Beach. Matthews said there were no plans to change office locations or staff. The firm has 200 employees in Virginia that are now combined into Day & Zimmerman’s headcount of more than 50,000.

Hankins & Anderson will rebrand itself as Mason & Hanger as a result of the deal.

“A market-facing rebranding would have been difficult, but because we both service federal clients combining the names made the most sense,” Matthews said.

Hankins & Anderson is at least the third local architecture firm to change ownership in recent months. Downtown-based Evolve Architecture was acquired in April by Wendel, a larger firm based in Buffalo, New York.

Last month, HG Landscape Architects, based in the West End, went back to being independently owned after splitting off from its previous acquirer, Raleigh, N.C.-based Stewart Inc.

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Mike McClellan
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What does the article have to do with “bluegrass country”?

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