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Biscuits Café to open East Vancouver location

Biscuits Café to open East Vancouver location

Plans are underway to start construction on a Biscuits Café at the Eastside Spec...

Local cemetery faces unexpected challenge as trends change

Local cemetery faces unexpected challenge as trends change

“The industry-wide challenge that we face is the majority preference for cremati...

Philanthropy coverage: Business spotlights

Philanthropy coverage: Business spotlights

There’s a tradition of philanthropy within Southwest Washington’s business commu...

Philanthropy coverage: Nonprofit spotlights

Philanthropy coverage: Nonprofit spotlights

Southwest Washington enjoys a healthy nonprofit sector. Simply put, these organi...

Talks over propane/butane export terminal at Port of Longview progressing

Talks over propane/butane export terminal at Port of Longview progressing

The Port of Longview and Haven Energy are “finding common commercial ground” in ...

Dancing with the Local Stars raises $154,000

Dancing with the Local Stars raises $154,000

Saturday's Dancing with the Local Stars raised $154,000, according to a report f...

Technology & Electronic Solutions

Cloud computing becoming the new norm, despite concerns

Cloud computing becoming the new norm, despite concerns

After hundreds of naked celebrity photos were allegedly hacked from Apple’s iCloud this Labor Day weekend, many are questioning the security of “the cloud.” But that hasn’t stopped the steady influx of businesses switching from in-house data storage to cloud-based solutions.

Integra, a communications and networking company headquartered in Vancouver, released data estimating that 70 percent of bu...

Innovation & Manufacturing

Manufacturers investing in the future

Manufacturers investing in the future

Invest in what you do. That is the mantra of many Southwest Washington manufacturers this year, as they pour significant investments into new facilities, equipment and infrastructure.

Take ProTech Composites, for example. This carbon fiber manufacturer grew sales 57 percent last year and projects 30 percent growth this year. Jeff Olsen, ProTech Composites president, said that the company is on tr...

News Briefs

County seeks to fill Animal Control Advisory Board vacancy

The Board of County Commissioners is seeking applicants for a position on the volunteer Animal Protection & Control Advisory Board. The vacancy is for an at-large position, beginning Jan. 1, 2015.

Spotlight

Current Home Technologies: Market growth fueling elaborate installations

Current Home Technologies: Market growth fueling elaborate installations

Tony Curtis, owner of Current Home Technologies, has been a professional integrator since 1997. Back then, dedicated theater rooms sparked the imagination of homeowners everywhere, but the technology of Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1-channel audio only whispered at the capabilities of the completely integrated home experience that Current Home Technologies provides residents with today.

Despite unwitt...

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

New industry: Can Vancouver be at the forefront of carbon fiber recycling?

New industry: Can Vancouver be at the forefront of carbon fiber recycling?

Once associated only with skunk works aircraft and exotic automobiles exclusively available to the world’s elite, carbon...

Returning innovation to the manufacturing sector

Returning innovation to the manufacturing sector

Double entry bookkeeping is a concept that is over 500 years old. You might ask, “What can we learn about innovation fro...

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