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Rochester architecture/engineering firm opens Binghamton office

BINGHAMTON — A contract to inspect bridges for the state led Rochester–based Popli Design Group (PDG) to open a new office at 7 S. Washington St. in Binghamton.

“We saw an opportunity in Binghamton,” says Sanjeev (Jay) Popli, vice president at the architecture, engineering, and land-surveying firm. Being in the area to inspect bridges really made the firm aware of those opportunities ranging from highway projects to growth at Binghamton University, he adds.

“We’re hopeful we can be a part of it,” he says of the bustling activity. PDG focuses on two main areas, transportation engineering and buildings, and that makes the Binghamton region an attractive market for the company. 

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Work is under way on the $135 million reconstruction project along Route 17 and Interstate 81 where they run through Binghamton. That project, which will create Interstate 86, is slated for a December 2015 completion date.

Binghamton University recently unveiled plans to build a $70 million research and development facility as part of the NY SUNY 2020 Challenge Grant initiative.

While PDG is not currently participating in these initiatives, they are the types of projects the firm would likely bid on, Popli says.

Projects like these show there is opportunity and space in the region for PDG, in spite of other nearby engineering firms like Griffiths Engineering, LLC; McFarland Johnson, Inc.; Keystone Associates, LLC; and Bearsch Compeau Knudson Architects & Engineers, PC.

While he has great respect for the firm’s competitors, even partnering with some of them on past projects, Popli says PDG’s technical abilities and client services will help the firm land customers in the Binghamton market. The company has the skills it needs and pairs them with client service that meets the client’s needs — anything from almost daily involvement in the project to a very hands-off approach, he says.

Popli Design Group (www.popligroup.com) leases about 1,000 square feet of space from Xuedan, LLC and moved into its new office April 17. The firm hired three employees to staff that office and employs about 50 people companywide.

Currently, Popli and staff are networking in the community, getting out to meet people and letting them know what PDG can do. The goal is to get to know the community and prospective clients and learn about their needs, he says.

It’s too early to say how the new office might impact growth at the firm, Popli says. The privately owned company does not release revenue figures. Popli says he expects it will take time to establish and build the Binghamton office. “We believe in starting small, getting a beachhead, and going from there,” he says.

It’s a strategy that served PDG well when it opened offices in the Syracuse and Albany markets, he notes. The firm employs seven people in its Syracuse office, located at 3502 James St.

PDG, founded in 1982, provides professional services in architecture, transportation, land surveying, environmental, and building engineering. Om Popli is president and managing principal. The firm also has a Buffalo office.     

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