Pape-Dawson Engineers recently acquired another civil engineering firm in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The firm says that according to its calculations, the deal means Pape-Dawson has platted more acres than any other engineering firm in Texas in the last year and a half.

San Antonio-based Pape-Dawson announced last week it had acquired Plano-based firm Dowdey, Anderson & Associates (DAA). The deal was finalized Oct. 1. The purchase price and other details were not disclosed.

The company says that according to its internal data collection, it now ranks first among Texas land development engineers in plats filed, single-family residential lots platted, and total acres platted. The combined companies have filed 557 subdivision plats, representing 10,750 acres and 25,058 single-family residential lots over the past 18 months.

The deal “shows our continued commitment to working in Texas and expanding in Texas,” company President Gene Dawson said.

The company first expanded outside of San Antonio 15 years ago, and now has offices in New Braunfels, Austin, Fort Worth, Dallas, and two in Houston. Its Dallas office was established in 2014 and focuses on residential developments, commercial properties, and public works projects.

Managing Principal Brad Davis said in a prepared statement that the company was looking specifically to expand in the booming Dallas-Fort Worth region.

DAA President Bill Anderson said in a prepared statement, “Together, no other firm can match our residential land development experience in the state of Texas.”

Pape-Dawson has in recent years regularly ranked as San Antonio’s largest civil engineering firm in an annual analysis by the San Antonio Business Journal, as measured by the number of local civil engineers and ongoing projects. The firm said it currently employs 85 civil engineers in the San Antonio region and is working on 1,723 active projects.

Statewide, it employs more than 700 people.

Dawson said acquisitions have become the best way to grow, because the ongoing “war for talent” has made it difficult to grow organically. Texas’ unemployment rate was 5.9% in August, according to the Texas Workforce Commission, close to what economists traditionally consider full employment. That rate does not take into account the millions that have dropped out of the workforce entirely, but it does point to the increasing challenge faced by firms looking to hire new employees.

Dawson also said the merger and acquisition market for engineering firms in Texas is hot. “A lot of private equity and a lot of firms outside of Texas want to be in Texas,” he said. “They’re coming in and buying Texas engineering firms.”

Pape-Dawson was founded in San Antonio in 1965. It provides engineering consulting and land surveying services, as well as building roads, sewers, and drainage, among other public works. Local projects in which the firm has been involved include the Vista Ridge Regional Water Supply project, the Alamo grounds, renovations of San Antonio’s city hall, the Pearl Brewery redevelopment, Henry B. González Convention Center, the Toyota Assembly Plant, hundreds of residential subdivisions, and many others.

Pape-Dawson Engineers is a financial supporter of the San Antonio Report. For a full list of business members, click here.

Waylon Cunningham

Waylon Cunningham writes about business and technology. Contact him at waylon@sareport.org.