April 1, 2005
Ellerbe Becket's Kansas City office suffered
yet another setback when architect Ron Gans left on March
28 to join 360 Architecture, one of its joint-venture partners
in a new Kansas City arena project. The move comes just three
weeks after the Minneapolis-based firm was stunned by the
loss of its five key principals, including its Kansas City
office manager, to rival HOK Sport+Venue+Event.
Ellerbe Becket, HOK and 360 Architecture are partners in
the Downtown Arena Design Team working on the planned downtown
arena. The firms have said that personnel issues will not
affect the project, which is scheduled to break ground by
late spring and open by March 2007.
"Ellerbe Becket has depth," said Stuart Smith,
company spokesman. "And the departure of Ron and the
principals will open up new opportunities for promotion within
our sports practice."
Meanwhile, Ellerbe Becket filed a lawsuit in state court
on March 16 saying that the defection of its five principals
violates company agreements. It also asked a Kansas City judge
to impose damages and issue a court order stopping the five
defectors from using confidential information or interfering
with Ellerbe's clients and employees.