Engineering Company Lowers Its Profile

Times Staff Writer

There are businesses that lust for addresses in mirror-windowed, high-rise office buildings in Newport Beach. But the posh seaside community apparently isn't that great for engineers.

At least that's what CH2M Hill, one of the nation's largest consulting engineering companies, believes.

"The kind of clients we get expect their attorneys and their accountants to be in high-rise space, but it's not good for an engineer," said Jerry Boyle, vice president and regional manager for the firm, which uses a name that sounds like a chemical compound because the alternative--Cornell, Howland, Hayes, Merryfield and Hill--is too taxing for receptionists and secretaries who answer the telephones all day.

Boyle and the other 50 employees at the Newport Beach offices that CH2M Hill has occupied for the last five years will move to Santa Ana in mid-April after six months of searching for a new location. Beyond image, Boyle said, the choice for the company's new location was mainly an economic decision.

CH2M Hill has signed a 10-year lease for 25,000 square feet in a new facility at 2500 S. Red Hill Ave.--part of the Irvine Business Complex. The offices are in what Boyle calls a "low-rise, two-story building more suitable for an engineering firm."

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