While much of the mainstream media has pointed towards 2016 as a year to forget, KDC Associates enjoyed another great year of growth and development. As our progress continues, all of our goals can be summed up in one sentence; "KDC remains focused on the pursuit and development of quality and unique public and private projects across the Southwest."
The economic maladies of the oil industry and the Saudi strategy of driving down pricing while protecting market share certainly affected much of the region around our home office in Midland. Many energy dependent municipalities were forced to cancel or scale-back public improvement projects such as parks, and philanthropic entities had to dramatically limit their giving when compared to some of our previous years. High-end residential projects, those over $300,000.00, almost ceased to exist. Despite this, KDC Associates had an excellent year and continued our expansion into the public sectors outside of western Texas.
We wrapped up the design, bidding, and construction administration phase of numerous public park projects. Our understanding of the design process and our ability to actually "listen" to our municipal client's needs resulted in the completion of approximately $10 million in public park improvement projects, all of which were finished on time and on budget.
Regional philanthropic individuals and organizations made possible the completion of the "Chris Kyle American Sniper Memorial", which was designed by KDC Associates and made international news. In fact, this project's dedication in the summer of 2016 was Facebook's #1 trending story worldwide for 3 days. It also resulted in some death threats by ISIS and others, which we felt validated the importance of the project! During the week of the dedication, our staff was able to spend some time with Chris's wife, Taya Kyle, as well as sculptor Vic Payne, Congressman Mike Conaway and Representative Brooks Landgraf. Marcus Luttrell, the Navy SEAL of "Lone Survivor" fame, also came out and toured the site. The dedication on a sweltering July day drew a crowd estimated at well over 2,000 people.
The "Restoration of the Big Spring", for which the west Texas city is named, had the finishing touches of the design taken care of, and then was successfully bid on budget by a qualified contractor. This exciting and fascinating project will begin construction in January of 2017 and will be completed at some point this upcoming year. We hope that when this project is finished, the site's importance in the development of Texas and much of the American West will be obvious to all who tour the project site. Several major publications have already announced that they will be closely following the construction of the project.
In the realm of our continued pursuit of higher education projects, we had a very successful year and were awarded numerous major design projects for several universities across the state, including Midwestern State University, Texas Tech University, and the University of Texas.
Our commercial projects continued to flow into our office despite very little commercial development in western Texas due to the deflated energy sector. Despite the negative commercial atmosphere, our year in commercial design and development was highlighted by being awarded a $75 million Marriott Convention Center "Superblock" project with CallisonRTKL. Additionally, we continued to expand our statewide footprint with commercial projects for a major new client with sites in Laredo and elsewhere.
Our residential work continued to be very selective and limited in 2016. Even with the regional economic downturn, we were able to develop several high-end residential design projects for clients who pursued quality and unique design for their homes. KDC chooses not to pursue much in the way of residential landscape architecture, and we do very few traditional "landscape plans". Rather, much of our residential work is comprised of master planning unique outdoor environments of pools, cabanas, home additions, and entertainment areas.
We are very intentionally a boutique design firm and as such, we will not be driven by the quantity of work our office generates. Instead, we will continue to pursue work based on a potential project's fit, interest, and it's Owner's desire for quality. We will continue to look at careful expansion into specific markets across West and Central Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. We are looking forward to all of the challenges 2017 brings, and hope that your year is truly blessed!