COOPER CARRY Expands Design Portfolio in 2015, Strong Outlook for 2016

Following the announcement of The Johnson Studio joining forces with COOPER CARRY, the Atlanta-based firm announced that it opened 37 projects, or 4.3 million square feet, in seven states in 2015 with an additional 51 new projects awarded.

Looking ahead to 2016, Kevin Cantley, President and CEO of COOPER CARRY, predicts new design demand for office buildings and dual-branded hotels. Referencing Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) emerging trends, Cantley, who is Chair of ULI Atlanta, also anticipates secondary markets such as Austin, Texas; Portland, Oregon; Nashville, Tennessee; and Charlotte, North Carolina to attract investments across all sectors as Millennials continue to seek urban, walkable communities.

“In 2016, we expect to see growth in the development of office buildings in cities such as Atlanta where there’s only one major multi-tenant office project under construction,” said Cantley. “We also expect to see increased demand in dual-branded hotels in high-barrier to entry markets where land prices continue to rise. Happily, we’re at the forefront of the dual-branded trend with projects such as the AC Hotel by Marriott/Moxy hotel in Midtown Atlanta in the pipeline.”

In addition to the six hotels completed last year, the hospitality studio was awarded eight new projects in 2015, totaling more than 1,300 hotel rooms. Of significance was the opening of Hyatt Place Baltimore/Inner Harbor and Sea Pines Resort, which won Golf Inc.’s Clubhouse of the Year. In 2016, the COOPER CARRY-designed Hilton Downtown Cleveland Hotel will open in time to host the Republican National Convention.

Activity in the design of retail and mixed-use developments continues to expand as well, with the delivery of projects such as Emory Point Phase II and the upscale mall, Phipps Plaza, renovation in Atlanta. COOPER CARRY’s work reflects developers’ continued desire to create pedestrian-friendly, walkable spaces that offer a variety of experiences for consumers. In addition, the firm continues to grow its international practice with several projects in the Middle East, including a luxury shopping mall in Dubai and an eco hotel in Nicaragua.

Residential remains strong with 774 new units awarded in 2015. The team completed The High Rise at Post Alexander in Buckhead (Atlanta), which is a 26-story apartment building, and an adaptive reuse project, dubbed The Mill at 515, in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia.

The office studio at COOPER CARRY is also experiencing growth with companies expanding in various markets. The team has noted that companies take a special interest in transit-oriented communities. In 2016, COOPER CARRY will continue work on the new office and mixed-used complex that will be anchored by State Farm in Dunwoody, Georgia. In addition, the team was awarded nearly two million square feet in new corporate and office projects.

Along with COOPER CARRY’s private sector business, the firm’s higher education, science + technology and K-12 design work has also increased. In 2015, the firm completed six K-12 schools including the final phase of an adaptive reuse, five-story office building, which was converted to an elementary school in Arlington, Virginia. COOPER CARRY’s higher education studio completed five projects.

In addition, to meet greater demand in the STEM fields, COOPER CARRY’s science + technology studio completed four projects this year, including The Georgia BioScience Training Center, which supports research and provides critical workforce training to bioscience and biomanufacturing operations. Of particular interest is the completion of a new 218,800-square-foot Engineered Biosystems Building (EBB) at Georgia Tech as well as a renovation and expansion of the Atwood Chemistry Building at Emory University, both in Atlanta.

With offices in Atlanta, New York and Washington, D.C., COOPER CARRY promoted more than 50 employees to accommodate the substantial growth across many of its studios. Additionally, the recently announced combination of COOPER CARRY and The Johnson Studio will enhance both firms’ ability to provide an expanded menu of services for hospitality and restaurant projects in 2016.

“Last year was an active year for new awards,” said Cantley. “The 51 projects we were awarded total approximately 7.1 million square feet. We believe this is a strong indication for greater opportunities in 2016. In looking at our year over year comparison of 2014 vs. 2015, the firm’s revenue was up by some 30 percent. We feel this portends to a bright outlook across the firm for at least the next 12 months.”


COOPER CARRY provides architecture, planning, landscape architecture, interior design, environmental graphic design and sustainability consulting services. Founded in 1960, the firm specializes in the design of corporate, education, government, hospitality, mixed-use, office, residential, retail, science + technology, and transit projects. The firm has designed projects in 45 states and globally in the Caribbean, Middle East, Asia, Africa and Central America. Engaging a fundamental design philosophy centered on the concept that environments should connect people to people and people to place, the firm promotes the philosophy of “connective architecture.”  Designers understand the local market and the specific cultural and physical contexts in which the building will serve those who interact with it while conceiving memorable spaces, inside and out. Listening to the client and gaining a deep understanding of the market and site prior to commencing design, COOPER CARRY balances passionate creativity with client service. The firm expands vision and adds value to every project and its community.

ABOUT The Johnson Studio at COOPER CARRY

Utilizing diverse skills, the firm works closely with clients to create unique and extraordinary spaces. It offers complete design service consultation, conceptual development, architecture and interior design, to lighting design, and furniture purchasing. Recognized as a “hands on” firm, the firm engages many talented artists specializing in various metals, glass and woodwork, where ideas and dreams are brought to reality. The Johnson Studio at COOPER CARRY is based in Atlanta, but orchestrates projects nationally and beyond.

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