SANTA ROSA, REDWOOD CITY – With experience in mixed-use, green and railway development, the merger of veteran North Bay engineering firm Carlenzoli Associates and Bay Area giant BKF Engineers positions the new company for future development in the North Bay.

“We wanted to be countercyclical. The time for preparing and positioning ourselves for when times are good is now, and we decided to move forward with this merger because we wanted to be prepared,” said Carlenzoli Vice President Greg Hurd.

The two companies finalized the deal last week and formed BKF/Carlenzoli Engineers, Surveyors and Planners, following about a year of negotiations.  Mr. Hurd worked for BKF during college and said the two have informally discussed a possible merger for years. The companies have often collaborated on projects, including with Codding Enterprises, the Marin/Sonoma narrows and SMART.

BKF Engineers, whose annual revenues total $51.5 million, has completed many projects considered models for future development. The company was responsible for engineering work on Sonoma Mountain Village in Rohnert Park, the Santana Row mixed-use project in San Jose and St. Joseph Health System’s new $130 million, LEED-rated hospital wing in Napa. More than a third of BKF’s staff is currently LEED accredited, as is Mr. Hurd.

“One reason we see the North Bay as such a unique area of growth is the future development of the railway corridor for housing and commercial hubs, which is something BKF has done a lot of work on in the East Bay,” said BKF President and Chief Executive Officer David LaVelle.

“Coddingtown," he said, referring to the northern Santa Rosa shopping mall for which the companies have performed work, "is a perfect example of the possibility of creating more of a lifestyle center because of its proximity to the rail. It is also very close to the J.C. and town center.”

Carlenzoli’s Santa Rosa office is BKF’s first physical North Bay location and one of eight in the Bay Area, Sacramento and Orange County. Mr. LaVelle said the office will operate mostly independently, but staff will have access to BKF resources and experts.

Details of the deal, finalized Monday, were not released, but Mr. Hurd will stay on as vice president and principal in charge of the Santa Rosa branch. Carlenzoli co-founder Leroy Carlenzoli will stay on as a senior consultant, and all staff were offered a job with the new company.

BKF was listed as the top engineering firm in the Silicon Valley by the Silicon Valley Business Journal and is among the largest in the Bay Area.

Carlenzoli launched in 1987 was ranked 22nd among engineering firms in the North Bay by the North Bay Business Journal last year. The company reported revenues of about $2.6 million in 2008 and completed large projects for Burbank Housing, the county of Sonoma, Trione Winery and St. Joseph Health System Sonoma County.