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The changing face of SEO

The changing face of SEO

Five years ago, search engine optimization (SEO) centered around using keywords ...

Accomplished & Under 40 class of 2014

Accomplished & Under 40 class of 2014

Each member of the Accomplished & Under 40 Class of 2014 has their own inspi...

Ghost Runners Brewery to open new production facility

Ghost Runners Brewery to open new production facility

Beer lovers, rejoice! A new place to fill up your growler is coming to Vancouver...

Ed Lynch recipient of Kyle Corwin Legacy Builder Award

Ed Lynch recipient of Kyle Corwin Legacy Builder Award

Ed Lynch, philanthropist, businessman and World War II Veteran, was presented th...

Voting for Best in Business Awards now live

Voting for Best in Business Awards now live

Put your B2B hat on and consider the needs of your business - which companies or...

Northwest Packing Co. will remain at Port of Vancouver USA

Northwest Packing Co. will remain at Port of Vancouver USA

The following press release was issued on Thursday afternoon by the Port of Vanc...

Technology & Electronic Solutions

The changing face of SEO

The changing face of SEO

Five years ago, search engine optimization (SEO) centered around using keywords and back-links to attain that elusive top ranking in Google. While these aspects of SEO are still important, local experts say that SEO has gotten much more sophisticated.

“It is an always-changing algorithm,” said Matthew Malone, senior digital strategist at Gravitate, a digital marketing and design agency located in...

Marketing & Strategic Communication

Seven tips for taming the content marketing beast

Seven tips for taming the content marketing beast

Content marketing is the “art and science of using content or stories to sell something,” according to Kari Olivier, director of marketing and business development for Vancouver-based strategic communication agency AHA!.

“Content” includes print brochures, blog posts, website copy, videos, podcasts and information shared via Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The overall goal, ...

News Briefs

Accomplished & Under 40 luncheon/reception

The 21 members of the Accomplished & Under 40 Class of 2014 were honored during a reception earlier this month at the Heathman Lodge in Vancouver.

Organized by the Vancouver Business Journal, the annual event recognizes the rising stars of the local business community.

Spotlight

Victor Fitness: Exercising service above all else

Victor Fitness: Exercising service above all else

To most of its customers, Victor Fitness is a gym: a collection of weights and machines, group fitness classes and one-on-one personal trainer time. But when Bill Victor looks at the business he founded 10 years ago, he sees a second act to his professional life and a source of personal satisfaction.

This was not how he envisioned his life would turn out.

When Victor entered the workforce, he wa...

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

7 reasons digital marketing is a team effort

7 reasons digital marketing is a team effort

The decision to outsource your company’s marketing efforts can be a difficult one, especially if you run a small- to med...

Turn holiday cheer into a stronger new year

Turn holiday cheer into a stronger new year

As we approach the holiday season and the conclusion of another calendar year, business leaders often take time to expre...

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