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USF architecture professor’s firm opens first US office in Tampa

  • By Louis Llovio
  • | 4:45 p.m. April 9, 2024
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
The German firm JSWD is opening a Tampa office in a space once occupied by Sorrento Sweets.
The German firm JSWD is opening a Tampa office in a space once occupied by Sorrento Sweets.
Courtesy image
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A German architecture firm is opening its first United States office in Tampa and is in the process of hiring 30 new employees to run it.

The firm is JSWD and is based in Cologne. It has a second office in Berlin.

Its new 2,960-square-foot office in Tampa will be in a former storefront at 8401 N. Dale Mabry Highway, off Waters Avenue and just outside the city’s Carrollwood neighborhood. The space was previously occupied by Sorrento Sweets, a local Italian bakery. The firm is scheduled to open next week in the space. 

The move was announced in a news release by the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council.

Olaf Arne Drehsen, JSWD’s founding general partner, says it chose Tampa as the location for its first office outside of Germany because of personal and professional connections to the city.

His wife is from Tampa, Drehsen says in a statement. And, according to his official biography on JSWRD’s website, he has been an associate professor at the University of South Florida’s school of architecture and community design since 2019.

The university’s website lists him as its Markborough Distinguished Visiting Scholar-in-Residence.

Dreshen says in the statement that beyond the connections, the firm saw that the city is producing a strong talent pipeline and has “a favorable business climate and collaborative community.”

As part of the move, JSWD will be hiring architects, technical writers and model builders as well as filling administrative and business development roles.

The firm currently employs 280 people. It specializes in urban design, master planning, corporate and health care, and “provides key competencies in sustainability and interior design.”



Louis Llovio

Louis Llovio is the deputy managing editor at the Business Observer. Before going to work at the Observer, the longtime business writer worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Maryland Daily Record and for the Baltimore Sun Media Group. He lives in Tampa.

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