Bechtel Corp., one of the world's largest engineering and
construction companies, has opened an office in downtown St. Louis.
It's small, but the company hopes to win contracts in the Midwest
and expand the staff here.
Three professionals plus support staff have moved into 2,500
square feet in the Frisco Building, 906 Olive Street. They are part
of a division called Bechtel Infrastructure Corp.
Walter Bell, the division's president, said his group will
compete for design, construction and construction management of
highways, bridges, airport expansions, mass transit, buildings and
water and waste-water treatment facilities.
Bechtel has worked on power plants and refineries in this area,
but never has established a permanent office here to pursue more
projects. Now the company is changing its marketing strategy.
"We want to become more regionally focused," Bell said. "Over
time, this enhances our ability to get business. With local
offices, you're closer to the community, to potential clients."
Completing big projects and then pulling up stakes "is not the way
to do business anymore," he said.
Bechtel plans to open two additional small offices this year in
other parts of the country. It's based in San Francisco, privately
held and managed by the fourth generation of the founding family.
In 1994, the company completed $7.9 billion in work. Its main
offices, aside from San Francisco, are in Houston, London and Hong
Bell said about 60 percent of his division's work is
international. The company has worked on airports from Atlanta to
Hong Kong. It worked on the Channel Tunnel between France and
Britain, helped create a new industrial city in Saudi Arabia and is
busy now on a 30-mile extension of the Bay Area Rapid Transit
system in California.
Another division has had an office in Berkeley since 1985. The
staff there, ranging from 15 to 25 people, works exclusively on the
cleanup of nuclear waste in Berkeley and Hazelwood.
CIGAR DINNER NEWS: The spring cigar dinner season is in full
Wednesday, April 17, at Frank Papa's Ristorante, 2241 South
Brentwood Boulevard. Papa's "Ultimate Smoker #2" celebrates the
restaurant's second anniversary. At $225, the price is ultimate,
but where else are you going to savor a pre-Castro Cuban?
Papa said that properly stored quality cigars will last a long
time, and to prove it, guests will enjoy a 1956 Wally Frank Magicos
Corona. These are legal, having been imported before the embargo.
The five-course dinner includes special vintages, dating back
to 1983, of Italian wines.
Call 961-3344 for reservations.
Monday, April 29, at Crazy Fish, 15 North Meramec Avenue. This
is Crazy Fish's first smoker, and the second produced by Toby's
Stogies, the local cigar-of-the-month club. Toby's will provide a
Jose Marti, a Partagas, an El Rey del Mundo and a Troya. Paramount
Liquors supplies the wines for Toby's events, this time including a
chardonnay and a cabernet from Freemark Abbey. …