CRE X Missouri

Architecture firms Bates and Forum Studio to create new company in St. Louis

Bates and Forum Studio to merge,ph01
Bob Clark

Forum Studio, a wholly owned subsidiary of Chicago-based Clayco, will merge with Bates, a technology and architecture firm, and has formed a new company that will be headquartered in St. Louis. The new company will be called BatesForum.

BatesForum will be owned 50 percent by the current Bates partners and 50 percent by Clayco.

“This is an incredible opportunity for the Bates and Forum teams to gain instant synergy in technology exchange, building talent and to partner with the Clayco companies’ fully integrated delivery process,” said Bob Clark, chairman and chief executive officer with Clayco, in a written statement.

The new firm will have more than 200 employees and more than 70 registered designers and architects with offices in St. Louis; Chicago; Springfield, Missouri; Bentonville, Arkansas; and San Francisco.

Steve Warlick will be President and Kapil Khanna will be chief operating officer.

Long-standing Forum chairman and senior principal Chris Cedergreen has announced his upcoming retirement. He will participate in and help lead the transition and integration of the two firms, and will remain available as a consultant to the firm for special projects.

The company plans to close the transaction within eight weeks, at which time the new management team and organizational details will be announced.