For more than 40 years, eda, Engineers-Surveyors-Planners, Inc., has provided quality land development services to the North Central Florida area, and with a new name and a fresh partnership, the firm is ready to move into the future while providing the same client-focused service that they’ve become known for.
The firm began in 1972 as a sole proprietorship providing land surveying services. It was first incorporated as Wayne Chance, Inc. in 1976, and over the years has added partners and changed names until it became Eng, Denman & Associates, Inc. in 1988. The current partners, Sergio Reyes and Clay Sweger, became owners in 2003 and 2013, respectively.
“Around a year and a half ago, David Denman retired,” Reyes said. “Eng, Denman was still a recognizable name, so we decided to go with rebranding that still kept the name eda, which most people called us anyway. We were trying to move a little from the original owners and founders of the company.”
“But we thought it was really important to keep that direct connection to our past,” Sweger said. “Nothing changes for our clients, but for us it’s a chance to move to the next generation.”
eda today consists of 15 surveyors, engineers, planners, draftsmen and support staff. A recovering economy is driving business back up and the two said that they were planning to hire four to five new employees in 2014 to help handle the hundreds of projects that eda works on every year. The firm can handle driveway installations, large-scale development and everything in between, and serves as a one-stop shop for land services.
“There’s basically three legs to the stool,” Sweger said. “We do land surveying, civil engineering and urban planning. Those are the three services you need if you want to build a project or get a permit for a project.”
“We take it from scratch and prepare everything until you’re ready to start building,” Reyes said. eda can survey the lay of the land, help clients decide on the best possible uses for it, then draw up design plans; which includes roads, utilities and stormwater facilities; and finally, help the client through the permitting process with the city or county.
The firm has developed land across the area, from a 20-year project that resulted in Haile Plantation to the new Gainesville Regional Airport access road. Its portfolio includes convenience stores, retail spaces like Kohls, churches, banks, the Gainesville Renewable Energy Center, the Infinite Energy campus and several transportation projects with the city and county.
“I only turned down a project once or twice,” Reyes said. “Normally we find a way to do it and help people. Sometimes we don’t get a project, but we try to do as many as we can.”
Willingness to help is what sets eda apart, Reyes said. Partners come and go, and technology changes, but the hands-on approach established by Ralph Eng has stuck around.
“I’ve worked here since ‘91, and we’ve always had opportunities to grow, but we didn’t because we don’t want to lose contact with the client. When you grow too much it becomes a bit more of a production line,” Reyes said.
“We want people to know that we have certified and registered experts in the three fields like we always have,” Sweger said. “Our clients are always going to deal with the owners of the company and we want to keep that philosophy into the future. We’re the oldest company in town providing these services, and we’re really looking forward to the next 40 years.”