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PGN Architects Acquired By New Jersey Firm

A rendering of the "Flatiron" building PGN designed at 301 Florida Ave. NE in D.C.

PGN Architects, a D.C.-based architecture firm behind projects like the Strand Residences in Deanwood and the MDL Flats affordable apartment complex in Buzzard Point, is being acquired by Princeton, New Jersey-based architecture firm Michael Graves Architecture & Design.

The move is part of MG's acquisition push across the Northeast region; this is its fourth merger in the past year. 

Last March, the firm absorbed architecture firm Waldon Studio Architects, which has offices in Columbia and Baltimore, Maryland, as well as the District. MG acquired New Jersey architecture firm Jose Carballo Architectural Group in October, and North Carolina-based Walter Robbs Callahan & Pierce Architects in January.

“The acquisition strategy had a few real key reasons,” MG President Joe Furey said in an interview Thursday. "One of them was to build out not only a portfolio in each industry sector, but a broader geographic reach."

PGN partner Sean Pichon, who spoke to Bisnow from the Washington Nationals' Opening Day game Thursday afternoon, said the acquisition gives PGN more brand recognition, especially from institutional developers who hadn't heard of their local shop.

“We were always struggling with the fact that we had to justify what PGN was,” Pichon said. “No one’s gonna ask who Michael Graves is, we could bring all the projects that we were eventually losing once investment groups, larger national groups got involved that didn’t know us on a D.C.-centric level, that conversation changes now.” 

Multifamily projects are PGN’s bread and butter. In the works for the firm are a 101-unit affordable housing project in Woodridge and a Union Market project modeled after New York’s Flatiron Building.

It also designed an office-to-residential conversion downtown, in which Willco is transforming the former Peace Corps headquarters into Class-A apartments, complete with a gym and rooftop patio. 

PGN is also involved in the Frank D. Reeves Center redevelopment on U Street, which will include retail, office, residential, hotel and arts spaces. Its proposal includes a new national headquarters for the NAACP, a restaurant from celebrity chef Carla Hall, an Alvin Ailey dance studio, an amphitheater and government offices. 

PGN partners Jeff Goins and Sean Pichon will become principals under MG and maintain control of their business unit. 

“Everybody’s already working together, connecting with one another to try to see who knows who and how we can get more work together,” Furey said.

Related Topics: Michael Graves, PGN Architects