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Bentonville’s Harrison French Buys Massachusetts Architecture Firm

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Harrison French & Associates, the Bentonville architectural firm that focuses on retail design, has bought ALLEVATO Architects of Franklin, Massachusetts, giving HFA a presence in the Northeast.

ALLEVATO, which has more than 20 employees, has been involved with more than 20 million SF of retail development during the last 14 years “working with some of the top retail developers,” HFA said in a news release.

“The acquisition will enable HFA to establish an office location in the Northeast Region to better serve clients located in that area of the country as well as expand the design knowledge and capability of the firm within the Retail market,” HFA said.

HFA is third on Arkansas Business’ most recent list of largest architecture firms in Arkansas with 17 registered architects and a total of 190 employees.

HFA got its big break in retail design in 1993 when founder and CEO Harrison French did a project for Bud Walton, brother of Sam Walton and co-founder of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. The project led to work for the store planning department of Wal-Mart.

“Basically, as that department grew, we grew with them,” French told Arkansas Business in 2014.

The Wal-Mart work then led to design work for Sam’s Club, Walgreens, 7-Eleven, Subway and Sonic.

HFA now occupies 45,000 SF in a former National Home Center store in Bentonville. Architectural Record in 2015 ranked HFA in the top five firms nationally for the retail market.

ALLEVATO “is well known nationally for quality architectural design of mixed-use developments, open-air shopping centers and outlet malls,” HFA said.

“ALLEVATO is a very solid architectural firm with a creative and talented staff,” French said. “Going forward, I know our clients will have many positive experiences as our teams learn from each other and bring different perspectives and solutions to our collaborative process of design.”

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