With the Tri-Cities’ dramatic uptick in new construction, Design West Architects of Kennewick has outgrown its current office, which opened less than eight years ago.
In January, Design West began renovating a second-floor space on the north side of the Plaza West complex at 830 N. Columbia Center Blvd. in Kennewick, across the street from Texas Roadhouse.
Brandon Wilm, who opened Design West’s Kennewick branch in 2010, said the new space “allows for a lot of growth,” at 3,390 square feet. The company’s current location at 7513 W. Kennewick Ave. is 2,100 square feet.
“It’s a great space, but we’ve never remodeled it. The new space will be tailored to our industry’s needs,” he said.
Design West’s new home is the former site of the India Palace Restaurant, which has been vacant for about five years, Wilm said.
Plaza West’s owner Crown Property Management “stripped it down to the bone. It’s been more than just standard (tenant improvements); we’ve put in all new mechanical and electrical systems,” Wilm said.
Wilm said Design West is financing the renovations “on our own dime to save money. The building owner is paying a portion and we’re paying a portion.”
Once the $275,000 in improvements are completed by Siefken & Sons Construction Inc. of Richland, Design West’s new office will feature a reception area, two conference rooms and a couple of offices, with about half of the suite devoted to studio space comprised of open work stations.
Plaza West also houses a Sprint cellular store, Defoe-Pickett Law Office, Lydig Construction and Summit Physical Therapy.
Wilm said Boise, Idaho-based Design West has been doing work in Tri-Cities since 2004. In commuting weekly from the company’s Pullman location between 2006-08, Wilm said he saw there was enough work and projects on the horizon to justify opening a Tri-City office.
“We’ve been very fortunate,” he said. “When we came, it was just myself and one intern architect. We weathered the recession storm and keep gaining steam.”
Design West started in Boise 35 years ago, and now operates four offices throughout the Northwest in Kennewick, Pullman, Ontario, Oregon, and Meridian, Idaho. Wilm said the company employs 36 people, with seven working out of the Kennewick office.
A lot of Design West’s most recent work in the Tri-Cities has been public school construction, including the new Desert Hills and Chinook middle schools in Kennewick, the new Delta High School in Pasco and Leona Libby Middle School in West Richland.
The company also serves municipal and commercial clients.
“I think (the Tri-Cities) is a great place to be. We’re happy to be here,” Wilm said.
He said a grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new office will be in the spring.
The owner of Design West’s current building has not yet begun advertising the space, and there’s no word yet on what will be moving into it.
Daily and Monthly NewsSign up now!