Brookhaven is ending its contract with a major architecture firm that suddenly closed and is being sued in another state for not completing contracted work, according to media reports.

The city terminated its $800,000 contract with Atlanta-based Rosser International at the City Council’s Aug. 13 meeting. The city hired the firm in May 2018 to complete engineering and architectural designs for the city’s new public safety and municipal court headquarters to be built on the Peachtree Creek Greenway.

A conceptual design of Brookhaven’s public safety building.

City Manager Christian Sigman said the city received the construction drawings from Rosser it paid for and remains on track to break ground on the building next month. He said the city was not informed the company was going out of business. He added there are no plans to sue the firm because the city received the documents it paid for as part of the contract.

The council also voted Aug. 13 to award DRL Group a $248,000 contract to conduct the architectural work during actual construction for the public safety headquarters that will also house the city’s municipal court. Money from the Rosser contract will cover the costs for the DRL Group contract, according to city officials.

The chief architect at Rosser now works for DRL Group, according to a memo from city staff to the council. The staff states in the memo that Rosser International closed in May.

Public Works Director Hari Karikaran told the council that main members of the Rosser team that worked with Brookhaven on the public safety building now work with DRL Group and will be able to ensure such items as aesthetics for the new building discussed with Rosser will remain moving forward.

Sigman added the project remains on schedule and on budget. The council approved June 25 a nearly $15 million contract with BM&K Construction & Engineering to build the new headquarters.

The city’s decision to end its contract with Rosser is coming weeks after Venues Now, a trade magazine, reported that Rosser had gone out of business.

According to a media report, Santa Barbara County in California is suing Rosser after the company told the county it can’t complete its work on its jail project because it was going out of business.

Rosser’s website is still operating and includes a notice from May on its homepage that it is moving to a new office headquarters. A call to the Atlanta office answered by a machine saying that the call cannot be completed at this time. An email sent requesting comment was also not returned.

Rosser was involved in such major projects as renovations to Atlanta State Farm Arena and former Turner Field. It was the firm that designed Sandy Springs’ new civic center, City Springs, and its Performing Arts Center.

Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.