Vancouver Business Journal

Fri10242014

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WSU Vancouver: Enhancing the business community for 25 years

WSU Vancouver: Enhancing the business community for 25 years

25 years ago, Washington State University opened its Vancouver branch on the Cla...

Maruichi Northwest to invest $30 million in port steel mill

Maruichi Northwest to invest $30 million in port steel mill

A new steel mill is coming to the Port of Vancouver USA’s Centennial Industrial ...

Tidland Corporate Center sold for $3.3 million

Tidland Corporate Center sold for $3.3 million

Tidland Corporate Center, a 64,000-square-foot industrial building and 6.03-acre...

Introducing the Accomplished & Under 40 Class of 2014

Introducing the Accomplished & Under 40 Class of 2014

The Vancouver Business Journal is pleased to announce the Accomplished and Under...

East county bridge proposal causes contention within freight industry

East county bridge proposal causes contention within freight industry

After $200 million taxpayer dollars were spent on the botched Columbia River Cro...

Angels bringing ideas to light

Angels bringing ideas to light

Most new businesses come to being with a great idea. How to get that great idea ...

Banking & Money Management

Angels bringing ideas to light

Angels bringing ideas to light

Most new businesses come to being with a great idea. How to get that great idea from concept to marketplace reality is often what separates them.

Entrepreneurs can come into business with substantial investment and savings of their own, enjoy a low overhead-quick return scenario or be completely reliant on financial help.

“When you are in a position where you get to decide if you wish to seek ou...

Education & Workforce Development

WSU Vancouver: Enhancing the business community for 25 years

WSU Vancouver: Enhancing the business community for 25 years

25 years ago, Washington State University opened its Vancouver branch on the Clark College campus. From the very beginning, the university has been closely tied to Clark County’s business community, and those partnerships have grown even stronger over the last quarter-century.

WSU-Vancouver Chancellor Emile “Mel” Netzhammer joined the campus in July 2012, and has glowing praise for the relationsh...

News Briefs

From the List: Private Schools (2014)

What are the largest private schools in Clark County? We ranked them by total number of students enrolled in the 2013-2014 school year.

Spotlight

Dynamic Events finds success in service & technology solutions

Dynamic Events finds success in service & technology solutions

When you attend a conference or a large corporate event, you might assume that the registration process will be smooth, dinner will be served on time, and the speakers’ presentations will work flawlessly. But Allison Magyar, president of Dynamic Events, doesn’t take any of these details for granted.

“We provide complete meeting and event management and software, plus registration services and gra...

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

Now is the time for apprenticeships

Now is the time for apprenticeships

There is much talk of the “skills gap” – the widening space between the technical skills that employers need and the ski...

Towne Square project is a win for the local workforce

Towne Square project is a win for the local workforce

Our economy continues in fits and starts to recover. Workers struggle to find employment providing a living wage. Famili...

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