Vancouver Business Journal

Sat04192014

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Trust, Park Service fail to reach agreement on Pearson Air Museum

Trust, Park Service fail to reach agreement on Pearson Air Museum

Several months after having entered into formal mediation talks to discuss issue...

Riverview Community Bank celebrates regulatory decision

Riverview Community Bank celebrates regulatory decision

Officials at Riverview Community Bank are moving forward with confidence knowing...

Commercial development: Building for tomorrow

Commercial development: Building for tomorrow

If commercial developers feel like circus performers walking a tightrope, there ...

 Business Growth Award finalists announced

Business Growth Award finalists announced

14 businesses have been named finalists for the Vancouver Business Journal's 201...

Is Food Processing part of Port “Comprehensive Scheme”?

Is Food Processing part of Port “Comprehensive Scheme”?

The leaders of a Clark County food processing company will bring their efforts t...

Developers cautious but developing

Developers cautious but developing

Although the Great Recession is behind us, many businesses and individuals are s...

Design & Construction

Commercial development: Building for tomorrow

Commercial development: Building for tomorrow

If commercial developers feel like circus performers walking a tightrope, there is good reason.

Limited financing, escalating regulatory and raw material costs, and still-low property valuations make penciling out a project difficult. And yet, workforce trends and emerging technologies demand designs that look to the future.

Build to the budget

According to Ron Frederiksen, president of RSV Bui...

Innovation & Manufacturing

Southwest Washington keeps its focus on manufacturing

Southwest Washington keeps its focus on manufacturing

Southwest Washington boasts a number of regional factors that are beneficial to the local economy. Among them are access to clean water, affordable power and a skilled workforce. These factors have continued to drive the local manufacturing industry in 2014 – an industry that was one of the first to convincingly move forward out of the recession.

“Advanced manufacturing aligns with both our Orego...

News Briefs

CREDC seeks health care startups to participate in “Shark Tank”

The Columbia River Economic Development Council (CREDC) is accepting applications from startups related to the health care sector interested in participating in Clark County PubTalk’s annual business pitch competition on Tuesday, June 17.

Spotlight

Audio Fox: A sound solution

Audio Fox: A sound solution

Like a lot of small businesses, Vancouver-based Sound Product Solutions started with a problem. Several years into retirement, Rex Clark was experiencing hearing loss – and he wasn’t the only one affected by that change.

“We had some disagreements, me and my wife, about where the volume should be on the TV,” said Rex. He remembered similar struggles between his own parents, but the best solution ...

The Columbian looks to future

New space is built to suit, and gives newspaper flexibility in a shifting industry

It wasn’t a hard decision for The Columbian Publisher Scott Campbell to begin looking for a new home for his newspaper. The Columbian’s Frankenstein-like building on Eighth Street in downtown Vancouver had grown from 23,000 square feet to 110,000 square feet following a number of additions after its initial construction in 1955.

New space is built to suit, and gives newspaper flexibility in a shifting industry

It wasn’t a hard decision for The Columbian Publisher Scott Campbell to begin looking for a new home for his newspaper. The Columbian’s Frankenstein-like building on Eighth Street in downtown Vancouver had grown from 23,000 square feet to 110,000 square feet following a number of additions after its initial construction in 1955.

Instead of patching on yet another addition to the chopped-up building or dumping money into renovating a space that no longer met the business’ needs, Campbell began looking for a new location.

"We needed to have a good long-range plan for The Columbian," he said.

Campbell first set his sights on the former Jantzen Swimwear site on Grand Avenue near Highway 14. He purchased the 13-acre lot in 1999. Then in 2003, Campbell negotiated to purchase land just south of Esther Short Park and sell a portion to the city to build the Hilton hotel and conference center. The Grand Avenue site was later sold, and construction began on the Columbian’s new headquarters in April 2006.

"It’s a location that is much more conducive to attracting high-quality tenants that can share the building with us and support retail space, and it’s highly desirable to our employees," said Campbell.

The $30 million building will be six stories and 118,000 square feet. The Columbian expects to occupy the first four floors, with a portion of the ground floor available for retail space. The top two floors will be made available for office lease.

The building will allow The Columbian to directly contribute to the vitality of downtown Vancouver, said Campbell.

"Downtown Vancouver is a very exciting place to be building in right now," said Campbell. "There is a lot of enthusiasm and excitement about the core of the city."

Though it will serve as the newspaper’s home, Campbell said the building is not a single-purpose facility, but a flexible commercial office space.

"It has a degree of flexibility that doesn’t exist in the building we are in," he said. "There is a need for all businesses to be resilient and flexible to change."

The business took advantage of the opportunity to customize its own space from the ground up.

"Whenever you can start with a clean sheet of paper and design specific to the needs of the company it is so much better to do that," said Campbell.

The building’s wiring and electronic infrastructure will be "beefy," said Campbell.

"We are in the information business, and we move a lot of large files all over the building," he said.

The Columbian’s space will also include a photo studio.

A significant feature of the building is its ability to withstand natural disasters.

Dan Armstrong, project superintendent for general contractor Howard S. Wright Construction Co., said stronger membranes and connections and a brace-frame construction will add to the integrity of the building.

A significant generator will also be built into the facility.

"We are a daily newspaper," said Campbell. "We need to make sure that we are not out of business for two or three days if a major earthquake were to strike."

The strengthened construction will also ensure the longevity of the building.

"It’s built to survive beyond the normal longevity," said Armstrong. "The Campbell family wanted a building with staying power that would last into the next century."

Sustainability was sought in the design of the building through environmentally friendly features. Topping the list is a groundwater-source heat pump that will use groundwater to heat and cool the building. Groundwater pumped from 80 to 130 feet will be sent through heat exchangers and then re-injected back into the ground. The groundwater consistently remains 55 degrees and will be used for pre-heating and reduce or eliminate the need for conventional air conditioning.

Armstrong said this is the first time he has worked with a system of this kind and is aware of only a handful installed in the Vancouver area.

The project is likely to pursue a silver or gold LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

"It’s a way to build a building in a way that works better for the people who use it and for the environment in general," said Campbell.

Campbell made sure, however, investments made to acquire LEED certification paid off over time.

"The Columbian is taking the long-term view on this project," said Campbell. "We intend to inhabit this building for a long, long time."

Campbell expects future growth for the 360-employee newspaper, despite The Columbian and the industry losing circulation at a rate of 1 percent annually.

"The Web side of our readership is growing at an astounding rate," said Campbell. "It’s really not so much a decline, it’s more of a shift."

The trick, he said, is how to turn that into a viable business model. The Columbian is working on product development for its Web site to make it a better advertising vehicle for its customers, said Campbell.

Expansion may also occur beyond the new building. Campbell owns land directly south of the new office building that is planned for a possible parking facility and condominium project. Additionally, an adjacent property to the west of the new site and south of its existing facility could be developed to house the newspaper’s production and press operations. Build-out of the remaining land is years out, said Campbell. The parking facility and condominium project would require a development partner and the decision to move the press line would depend on press technology and the business climate.

The Columbian’s existing building will continue to house the production and press operations. The space vacated by the business and editorial staffs will likely be leased out.

Opinion

Focus Column

Innovating innovation

Innovating innovation

If you want to attract innovation, you need to be innovative. The Clark County Economic Development plan, which guides t...

You can thrive without reinventing the wheel

You can thrive without reinventing the wheel

Every day the media bombards us with headlines of doomsday for American manufacturers. We read how competition is stiff,...

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