Vancouver Business Journal

Fri12192014

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Details emerge on 101 Main Street building

Details emerge on 101 Main Street building

Local developer Killian Pacific is preparing to break ground early next year on ...

Pacific Continental announces major SW WA expansion

Pacific Continental announces major SW WA expansion

Pacific Continental Bank has inked plans to expand its presence in Southwest Was...

Freshii to open two additional Vancouver locations

Freshii to open two additional Vancouver locations

Less than one year ago, Doug and Rich Gillespie brought the Freshii franchise to...

Best practices for business seeking loans

Best practices for business seeking loans

With the right approach, applying for a loan doesn’t have to be painful. The fol...

Fit Right owners sell company

Fit Right owners sell company

Dave Sobolik and Robb Finegan, owners of Fit Right, a running store with locatio...

Women in construction: Building their success

Women in construction: Building their success

Some industries have been clearly dominated by one gender or the other; perhaps ...

Banking & Money Management

Best practices for business seeking loans

Best practices for business seeking loans

With the right approach, applying for a loan doesn’t have to be painful. The following best practices, garnered from local experts, can help business owners successfully obtain a new loan or restructure an existing one.

“Right now is a great time to restructure debt because interest rates are so low,” said Dave Hansen, Columbia Bank’s senior VP and regional manager for the Portland/Vancouver area...

Design & Construction

Women in construction: Building their success

Women in construction: Building their success

Some industries have been clearly dominated by one gender or the other; perhaps no industry more so than construction. However, in Southwest Washington, women are finding their place and respect amongst their male counterparts.

Leading to construction

As with most careers, there are a variety of paths that lead us to our chosen industry.

“I have always been fascinated with building things,” say...

News Briefs

Ridgefield named ‘Port of the Year’ by Washington Ports Association

The Washington Public Ports Association (WPPA) has named the Port of Ridgefield as the recipient of its annual Port of the Year Award. The annual award recognizes a WPPA member that has demonstrated exceptional success in the industry. There are currently 75 member ports operating within the state.

Spotlight

SmartRG: Riding the technology wave of the connected home

SmartRG: Riding the technology wave of the connected home

Recently more than doubling their office space, from 2,600 square feet to almost 6,000 is just one sign that SmartRG Inc. is a rising star in Vancouver’s high-tech community. SmartRG designs and produces hardware and software solutions to help Internet service providers and broadband operators monitor, manage and monetize the connected home.

Before the expansion, Jeff McInnis, CEO, said they were...

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

Five planning tips to help your business succeed in 2015

Five planning tips to help your business succeed in 2015

As we look forward to watching the ball drop in Times Square at midnight on Dec. 31 and the start of a new year, it’s a ...

The small print in loan documents

The small print in loan documents

Part of the small print in the stack of papers making up your loan documents is the rules you are promising to follow fo...

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