Architecture firm designed at least 27 structures Downtown
Brian Reed knew when he saw the 42nd-floor office space at Bank of America Tower that the views were designed for his team.
“We saw that space and we knew it would be appropriate for KBJ,” Reed said Monday. “KBJ worked on all the buildings Downtown.”
KBJ Architects designed at least 27 structures Downtown, where the tower stands as the tallest office building in Jacksonville.
From the top floor at 50 N. Laura St., Jacksonville-based KBJ can see its handiwork over the 72 years since it was founded.
Reed is CEO of KBJ and president of Landrum & Brown, which bought KBJ in November 2016. After the purchase, KBJ sold the historic Porter Mansion it occupied at 510 N. Julia St. in December 2017.
Property records show the three-story building was constructed in 1902 and comprises about 15,000 square feet of space.
Reed said KBJ has been headquartered there since 1983. The mansion was sold to a Missouri investor who has not announced plans for the property.
Reed said Cincinnati-based Landrum & Brown, a global aviation planning consultant, works on the major airports around the world. It bought KBJ to grow its presence in Jacksonville and to add more architectural talent to its team.
He said team members in Jacksonville working on airport projects are doing so as Landrum & Brown. Those working on significant Jacksonville projects do so as KBJ Architects.
“That allows us to build an office of world-class architects capable of leading any project in Northeast Florida,” Reed said.
“Both brand names are very strong,” Reed said. KBJ is led by President Tom Rensing.
Landrum & Brown named Reed as president in March 2016 and he continued to reside in Jacksonville, where he previously served as president and CEO of RS&H Inc., a Jacksonville-based architectural, engineering and consulting firm. Before that, he was RS&H’s senior vice president and aviation director for 20 years.
One of KBJ’s highest-profile Downtown projects is the restoration of the Barnett National Bank Building at 112 W. Adams St., a block north of the tower, which was built for Barnett Banks Inc.
Barnett was sold to NationsBank, which became Bank of America.
Reed said Cushman & Wakefield Senior Director Traci Jenks, KBJ’s representative, showed the space. The work will include cosmetic updates, he said, such as painting and carpeting. It also will include technology upgrades.
“It’s a great workplace for our people. Architects and planners are very creative people. They need space that is inspiring to them.”
The 13,000 square feet KBJ and Landrum & Brown will lease includes five offices. Reed said there also will be two large open areas for work and another large area for social, kitchen and other productive uses.
KBJ and Landrum & Brown will move its 20 team members into the space May 13 and is adding more.
“We will be continuing to build KBJ in the community,” Reed said.