In November, 1994, the husband and wife team of D. Michael Kastrop and Lorianna Kastrop founded The Kastrop Group, Inc. Architects at the Sequoia Building in downtown Redwood City.
Mike had been a partner at a San Mateo based firm for several years before deciding he would like to go out on his own. When Lorianna offered to add her business and financial expertise to his architecture experience and creative skills, they knew they had a recipe for success. They founded the firm in Redwood City, not just because it is where they live, but also because they have many contacts in governmental and non-profit organizations in the community, which helped to build the business and establish a good reputation in the days when word-of-mouth referrals were crucial. While times have changed and The Kastrop Group has embraced new technologies, these strong local connections remain an important part of the business.
We look forward to seeing what the future will bring and we are prepared for new challenges. No matter what changes in our industry, we will continue to serve our clients with the same personal touch and consistent quality that we have become known for in the last twenty years.
In 1994, the company’s first employee was Nicolas Mallas, who had worked with Mike for many years at other firms. The Kastrop Group team focused mainly on retail stores in the early years, and did a great deal of work for The Gap and The Limited all over the United States as the retail business boomed. The Kastrop Group then broadened its portfolio to include other commercial, residential, and public projects.
In 1997, The Kastrop Group restored the 2nd floor of the historic Foresters Hall in Redwood City and moved into offices there. The firm grew to six employees, and in 2001 moved to a neglected historic building on Main Street which The Kastrop Group restored to its former glory. Business was steady, though the advent of online shopping meant a decline in brick-and-mortar retail projects. The Kastrop Group responded by diversifying its portfolio, working in historical renovations, churches, offices, and restaurants.
Brian Villavicencio joined the team in 2004, after graduating from University of California, Berkeley. Brian is highly skilled in AutoCAD and takes the lead on most residential projects. Nick retired in 2009, around the time that the recession hit the construction industry. The firm stayed small in order to weather the difficult economic conditions.
As the economy has improved, the demand for architectural services has increased, and The Kastrop Group has begun to expand again. Megha Vaidya was hired in 2013, after graduating from the University of Texas at Austin, and brings 3D design and drafting skills to The Kastrop Group.
Currently, there is a trend towards transit-oriented development and commercial/residential multi-story buildings in downtown or urban core areas. The Kastrop Group currently has several projects in the pipeline to meet this need, and we are prepared for new opportunities and challenges that come our way.