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August 27, 2009 - Image 25

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2009-08-27

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the basement: And there doesn't seem
to be a city or state that isn't consider-
ing modernizing or moving out of that
`basement: resulting in something of a
crime lab boom. We created a separate
partnership, Crime Lab Design, to focus
on this market"
The crime lab business may be boom-
ing, but the company's other architectur-
al work has slowed down dramatically
because of the nation's poor economy in
general, King laments. "The design and
construction industry slammed on the
brakes in the past few years, even halting
construction projects that already were
underway
"I call this a severe economic crisis,
more dramatic and significant than
any I've ever experienced. Clients just
stopped planning and building, and just
pushed off everything."
After increasing revenues and
employees in 2006-2007, Harley broke
even last year, says King, "but it's going
to be tough to break even again this
year; we had a very weak second quarter,
and the third quarter is usually weak
anyway because of summer vacations.
As a result, we've had to reduce our staff
and cut expenses and overhead."
King says the nation's health care
industry is quiet right now mainly
because of the current uncertainty over
the U.S. government's health care plans,
making clients hesitant to build. "The
health care sector, which is another one
of our niche markets, is a real challenge
to us now," he said.
But Harley recently completed a hos-
pital in Sandusky, Ohio, and is going
ahead with plans for a new Pittsburgh
Health Center.
"To succeed in this business today, you
really must keep expanding and work-
ing outside of Michigan," King confides.
"The state situation is pretty tough. But
we remain optimistic because the archi-
tectural industry tends to start up and
rebound ahead of other industries, before
the general economy gets robust again:'
Harley has designed two local medical
office building projects with Drs. Eugene
and Michael Rontal and their father, the
late Joe Rontal, of the Rontal Clinic, an
ear, nose and throat facility on Orchard
Lake Road in Farmington Hills. Harley
designed a building that houses the
clinic and other medical suites, and the
Louis and Vivian Berry Surgery Center
across the street.
"The Berry Center was built in 1988,
but it was 20 years ahead of its time in
terms of innovative design and archi-
tecture and medical procedures and
techniques': said Dr. Eugene Rontal. "It
demonstrates Dennis King's creativity

and innovative methods. He's a consum-
mate professional; very well organized,
business-oriented, creative and intel-
ligent. Dennis is a credit to the architec-
ture profession."
Harley has made a strong commit-
ment to "green, sustainable design," King
added, with LEED-certified buildings
(leadership in energy and environmen-
tal design). Examples are the A. Alfred
Taubman Student Services Center at
Lawrence Technological University in
Southfield, the Ford Rouge Factory Tour
Visitor Center in Dearborn, and build-
ings in California and Illinois.
"We strive for environmental sensitiv-
ity in our design, just as you would find
in construction methods and materials':
said King.

Honor Board
His quality management vision has been
a strong contributing factor in Harley's
continued recognition for design excel-
lence by the company's peers in the
industry; the firm has received numer-
ous awards and honors, including
more than 50 awards in the past three
years alone. In 2000, it was named the
Architectural Institute of America's
Michigan Firm of the Year.
King is especially proud that Harley
has been named one of "Metro Detroit's
101 Best and Brightest Companies to
Work For" eight straight years by the
Michigan Business & Professional
Association.
King has received many personal
awards and honors for business and com-
munity service, has written numerous
industry papers and has served on a num-
ber of boards and committees. He's cur-
rently on the board of trustees for Royal
Oak-based Beaumont Hospitals and board
of directors for the Beaumont Foundation,
and on the Oakland County Economic
Development Corp.'s board of directors.
A member of Temple Shir Shalom
in West Bloomfield, King serves on the
building committee guiding the Corners
project design and construction (the
former Laker Center on Walnut Lake
and Inkster roads sold by Congregation
Shaarey Zedek of Oakland County to
Shir Shalom). He continues on the
Corners board of directors.
"Dennis King is probably the most
able CEO in the architectural business,"
declared Bob Ziegelman of Bloomfield
Hills, founder of Lukenbach/Ziegelman
Architects in Bloomfield Hills and
Ann Arbor. "He turned Harley Ellis
Devereaux into a high-quality company
and has been the force behind its rapid
growth. Dennis really shines in the
architectural industry:'



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August 27 • 2009

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