A geospatial data and construction services firm that has grown prodigiously around the nation since it was founded nearly 30 years ago in Austin is expanding close to home, showcasing the sustained executive confidence in certain sectors of the economy.
Surveying and Mapping LLC, which does business as SAM Companies, is setting up an office in Cedar Park. It has leased roughly 17,000 square feet at 1501 Volta Dr., Ste. 300, which it initially plans to fill with about 25 employees from its Austin headquarters, SAM Vice President and Office Manager Oliver Pollard said. The Williamson County office has room to eventually accommodate about 100 employees.
SAM is not planning to depart its Austin HQ, which measures about 63,000 square feet at 4801 Southwest Pkwy. But the expansion into Williamson County underscores the economic growth on the north side of the metro, where homebuilding is in overdrive and large commercial projects continue to proliferate.
SAM’s new office in Cedar Park is a response to the company’s growing employee base in North Austin, Pollard said. Williamson County’s population reached an estimated 643,000 in 2021, up more than 50% from 423,000 in 2010, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
“Williamson County … has just been growing like crazy,” Pollard said.
SAM works in surveying, utility engineering, aerial mapping, building information modeling, geographic information systems and inspection services. Egyptian immigrant Samir Hanna founded the business in the Texas capital in 1994 and it has grown 44 offices across North America, not including Cedar Park. SAM employs roughly 1,500 people total, with about 420 at its Austin office, which ranked No. 68 on Austin Business Journal’s latest list of the largest private-sector employers in the area.
SAM lists 100 job openings online. The company is looking to hire registered surveyors, fiber engineering designers and utility engineering project managers, Pollard said.
Pollard said SAM’s industry has been somewhat insulated from broader market uncertainty, which has convinced companies, many of them in technology, to shed thousands of jobs.
“We have to be cognizant and aware of that … but with the investment into the electric utilities market and the infrastructure funds coming down from the federal government, we’re seeing less headwinds in those spaces,” he said. “That’s allowing us to keep moving forward.”
About 25% of the company’s work is done in Central Texas, he added. Local clients have included the Lower Colorado River Authority, Williamson County, Hays County, Travis County and the Texas Department of Transportation.
“Telecomm is one of our biggest focuses right now … as well as renewables and electric,” Pollard said. “We’re growing about 20% year-over-year, even through Covid.”
Cushman & Wakefield represented SAM in lease negotiations for the Cedar Park office. Zach Flores with Don Quick & Associates represented the landlord, RC4 Realty LP.
The construction services company plans an open house on Jan. 26 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Click here for the entire article.