Frank Di Roma – Vision For Today and Tomorrow
How local architect Frank Di Roma of Ware Malcomb is shaping commercial, corporate and industrial development in Vaughan and beyond.
Frank Di Roma knows that long-term vision is the modern architect’s greatest tool. Of course, buildings need to be functional today. But in order for developers to maximize their investment it’s essential to think about what the building can and will be used for in the future. “The smart developer is always thinking of the life cycle of a product,” says Di Roma, regional director of international architectural firm Ware Malcomb. “For me, it’s all about helping them cultivate that vision for what’s the best use of a site.”
For the past five years, Di Roma has wielded this attitude to successfully pioneer Ware Malcomb’s expansion into the Canadian landscape. Since 1972, Ware Malcomb has designed various commercial, industrial and corporate real estate projects through architecture, planning, civil engineering, branding and more. The award-winning U.S. firm branched out into the Canadian market in 2007, and with Di Roma at the helm since 2010, quickly turned heads through intelligent designs that meld beauty and practicality, all within a client’s budget.
What makes working with Ware Malcomb so advantageous is its combination of boutique-style offices backed by the strength of a large multinational firm. Canadian clients deal with Di Roma one-on-one, affording that personal touch of a small local firm, but it also means the vast resources, quick turnaround time and manpower of a bigger company are at the ready. If needed, Di Roma will fly in a designer from one of the other 16 offices across North America to give insight. Designs also circulate through those other offices to give clients greater input from different regions. “It’s not just my expertise of this region,” says Di Roma. “We give you more options, designs and opinions from every region where we have an office — and that’s at no extra cost to the client.”
Di Roma recently moved Ware Malcomb’s Canadian headquarters to his hometown of Vaughan and it’s led to their best year in Canada to date. Di Roma and his team designed an impressive seven million square feet of industrial/office space over the last five years, including the new one-million-sq.-ft. adidas Group Canada distribution centre in Brantford, Ont., which won this year’s NAIOP Greater Toronto Industrial Development of the Year award. Di Roma has another two-to three-million-sq.-ft. development already in the works, including a new Porsche corporate dealership in North York and the Mississauga Gateway Centre’s five-storey office building.
“Being born and raised in this community, I know how central a role Vaughan will play in the development of the GTA and the rest of Canada,” says Di Roma. “We’re excited to use great design to help developers continue to position themselves for success today and tomorrow.”
180 Bass Pro Mills Dr., Unit 103, Vaughan, Ont.