Landscape architecture firm specializes in parks, sports fields and open spaces
David Sacamano became his own career architect when he made the decision to found his landscape architecture, planning and design firm Illahee Group. With a dozen years of experience in the private and public sectors, he ventured out on his own in 2004. Earlier this year, Illahee Group moved from a home office to a downtown Vancouver location. And most recently, Sacamano hired his first employee.
Sacamano grew up locally and previously worked for the city of Vancouver. He said he has seen the city grow from something Portland friends would poke fun at 10 years ago. But now, he said, "Vancouver is on the cusp of a lot of things happening."
Business has continued to ramp up in the company’s first two years and Sacamano had to make a decision to stay as a small, one-person business or grow.
"There is a crest of a wave," he said, "and you have to get on it when it is going in the right direction."
Forming the Illahee Group and occupying space downtown is allowing him to take advantage of the growth occurring.
"It’s an exciting time to have a small business in Vancouver," said Sacamano.
Illahee Group works mainly on commercial projects, including parks for public agencies and large-scale residential developments.
The firm is involved in four local park projects, including the 88-acre Clark County Fairgrounds Community Park, which is in the early phases of development. Illahee sees projects through from design to completion.
The sustainable design trend is very much a part of landscape architecture, said Sacamano, and Illahee Group integrates sustainable site design into its projects. Ecologically-based design is cost-effective, requires less maintenance and has less of an impact on the land, he said.
Half of the firm’s clients tend to be public agencies, while developers, architects and engineers make up the rest of the work. Illahee Group takes on some projects individually but also aligns with other professionals and firms to take on larger projects.
Illahee Group added Landscape Architect Kristina Durant last month. The addition of Durant will allow the business to take on more jobs, and she diversifies the firm’s abilities, said Sacamano.
He has a goal of growing the business by 25 percent each year and expects to bring on another employee by the end of the year.