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BCT Architects buys assets of bankrupt DDG

BCT Architects of Baltimore has acquired the assets of DDG, which decalred bankruptcy this summer. The two firms collaborated in the past on renovations of Belvedere Square.
BCT Architects of Baltimore has acquired the assets of DDG, which decalred bankruptcy this summer. The two firms collaborated in the past on renovations of Belvedere Square. (Dave McIntosh / Handout photo)

A Baltimore architecture firm has purchased the assets of Design Development Group, which declared bankruptcy this summer.

BCT Architects paid $300,000 for nearly all DDG's assets, including equipment, intellectual property, customer lists and work in progress, according to a filing in the bankruptcy case. BCT has also hired about 28 of DDG's former employees, covering an undisclosed amount of backpay, said Bryce Turner, president of BCT.

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Turner, who worked at DDG or its predecessor firm for 15 years, said he wanted to keep the business in Baltimore. The firms also offer complementary services, he said.

DDG is known for its international design and master planning work, while BCT, which employs about 50 people, focuses on architectural services, with projects such as the conversion of 10 Light Street into apartments. They have worked together on projects such as National Harbor and Belvedere Square.

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"It was kind of a natural fit," Turner said. "We share a lot of the same DNA."

DDG declared bankruptcy in July, citing a downturn in business stemming from the Great Recession, the sudden death of its former CEO and shareholder disputes. At the time, the architecture business employed about 40 people, down from 125 at its height, according to court filings.

DDG, now a wholly owned subsidiary of BCT Architects, will maintain its name and run as a "sister company," each with offices on different floors of 100 N. Charles Street, said Turner, who will serve as chair of the business. Roy Higgs, who founded the precursor to DDG in Baltimore in 1979, will also join the firm as a principal, as will Tony Van Vliet, president of DDG.

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