By Jeff Toquinto on October 15, 2016
Growth on all fronts seems to be going strong in Bridgeport. Most recently, the city added to its business inventory on the professional front when a new operation opened shop at the Charles Pointe development.
While the arrival of any business is generally good news for a municipality and area, this new one brings with it a substantial regional presence and has selected Bridgeport as the place to continue its growth. The Larson Design Group, based out of Williamsport, Pa., is now calling the 600 Building at Charles Pointe as its newest home.
The engineering, architecture and surveying group’s presence in Bridgeport gives the company its 12th location. And, the local branch is being headed by a familiar name – city resident Jim Christie, ASLA.
Christie, a 1991 Bridgeport High School graduate, will serve as the site development and officer manager for the Bridgeport location, which is the second office the company has in West Virginia. Christie handles those same responsibilities for the company’s first location in the state that is situated in Morgantown.
So how big is this company that quietly opened shop last week?
According to Christie, there are 350 workers under the company umbrella. Along with having 12 offices now, they operate those offices in five different states throughout the region.
“This is an employee-owned architecture and engineering company that started in 1986 in Williamsport,” said Christie. “We are a full service consulting business. We can do everything from the initial survey to master plans through construction. We do that for private development and public development such as work for municipalities.”
Among the clients for Larson are Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, West Virginia University, Stonewall Jackson Resort and they are involved in the geotechnical work for the Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center in Clarksburg. There are hundreds of others, said Christie, and they hope to grow that.
“This is part of our western region that includes Cleveland, Pittsburgh and West Virginia,” said Christie.
Christie said the goal with the office locations is to try to make the staff consist of local individuals. He said the Morgantown office consists of all West Virginia employees. He said that will be the goal of the new office as well.
“We want to build a local base and we’ll have three individuals working here, including myself,” said Christie. “Between our two West Virginia offices, we have employees from Harrison, Marion, Monongalia and Preston counties. We’re trying to find the best people to be employees who are vested in their communities and can then be able to work in those communities.”
While Christie’s presence in Bridgeport appears to be a comfortable fit, his home address wasn’t the reason for Larson, which is an employee-owned company, to opt to come to the city. Instead, he said it fits the company’s growth needs.
“We wanted to be in the city limits and be close to the energy sector, which helps our field service guys as one of the key reason. You can get to work areas in the energy sector for this region from this office fairly quickly,” said Christie.
For those wanting to learn more about Larson or that may have questions, the office can be reached by calling 877-323-6603. They also have a Web site, www.larsondesigngroup.com, which provides additional information.
“We already have employees from the Bridgeport area and we see the potential in Harrison County and this region,” said Christie. “We see this as a growth sector and plan to be here for a long time.”