Published July 18, 2000
Volume 8, Number 7

RJA is Coming Full Circle
Engineering Firm Building a Facility in Park They Helped to Create
Ruggeri Jensen Azar
As an employee of Bissell & Karn, Pete Ruggeri was the lead engineer on the initial
site work for Hacienda. Now his firm is building here.

By Jay Hipps
Network Editor

It's almost 20 years ago that Pete Ruggeri first heard about a business development, to be called Hacienda, that was planned for over 850 acres in Pleasanton. 

Then a civil engineer with Bissell & Karn, Ruggeri went on to help design the streets, sewer systems, grading, and flood control improvements that served as the foundation of the park. 

Fast forward to today and you'll find him, as one of the principals of Ruggeri - Jensen - Azar and Associates, doing the groundwork -- literally -- for RJA's own facility in the park, at the southwestern corner of Gibraltar and Chabot. 

"I think it's always been a dream, being an owner in Hacienda," explains Ruggeri. "I was involved in the park from the beginning. We did all of the engineering for Hacienda, so it's been a big part of my professional career.

"Now we're building on one of the last available lots." 

A Long Hacienda History
Ruggeri's own past is intertwined with Hacienda's. In addition to contributing the civil engineering necessary for the development, Bissell & Karn went on to become the first tenant of the new park. 

"We occupied the first building here, which was Callahan Property's building at Chabot Center." 

Ruggeri was also involved in engineering work on a number of individual sites. His personal list includes CarrAmerica Corporate Center, Britannia Development's many projects, 1st United Services Credit Union, and PeopleSoft's corporate headquarters, as well as the widening of the Hopyard Road/I-580 overcrossing and the widening of 580 to allow for the BART extension. 

RJA has also been heavily involved in local residential development, including Ruby Hills and several other projects in Pleasanton. The firm will also do the engineering work at the Bernal Property for its new owners, Greenbriar. 

A Foundation for Growth
After beginning his career with the Alameda County Flood Control District, Ruggeri moved to Bissell & Karn, which was acquired by Greiner in 1990. In 1995, Ruggeri started RJA. 

"We've grown from less than 20 people to 88 employees in five years," says RJA's Joanne Wilson. "A lot of people can do engineering, but what sets us apart is that we're a benefit to the developers in terms of going that extra mile in order to get things approved -- understanding that process and getting it expedited for them."

One element that makes RJA unique is their ability to provide turnkey services to developers. 

"We help get the permitting and provide the schematic drawings and the surveying, all the way through development of plans and contract documents for a project," explains Wilson. 

The firm works throughout Northern California. They have additional offices in Marina, just up Highway 1 from Monterey; Milpitas; and Walnut Creek.

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