Around the late 1990s and early 2000s, Shawn Linhoff and his staff at Perfection Glass began to feel the walls closing in on them at 15 N. Auburn St. in Kennewick.
“We outgrew this place, but there was a sense of home and not wanting to risk everything. Moving a business that’s been in the same spot for 40 years, there’s a bit to that,” said Linhoff, whose father, Ron, and uncle, Russ, started the company in the 1970s. “We learned how to run a business out of a very small location. But I would say about four years ago it dawned on me that we were going to have to make a move.”
That move came in September as Perfection Glass moved into the former Sundown Sport & Marine buildings at 1238 Columbia Park Trail in Richland. The two buildings on the 2.5-acre site are about 18,000 square feet and 2,500 square feet in size, respectively.
Linhoff first noticed the buildings and property in late 2017 when he pulled over to take a phone call.
“It wasn’t on the market, and I didn’t know if the owner had any intentions of selling,” Linhoff said.
As luck would have it, the owner wanted to sell, and by October 2017, Linhoff had acquired the property. The next several months were spent getting the permits and working with KDA Architecture (formerly KDF Architecture) of Yakima to get the space ready to house the residential side of the glass company’s business.
Finally in June, Kennewick-based Chervenell Construction started work on the remodel. Updates to the property included creating a mezzanine for the store, updating the heating, ventilation and air conditioning and electrical systems, putting a façade on the front of the building and landscaping.
The cost of the building, land and renovations is between $1.8 million and $2.1 million, Linhoff said.
“I thought this was going to be a dreadful thing, but the energy and excitement—it’s really rewarding. I don’t know what I’m more excited about—for the residential side moving to Columbia Park Trail or the commercial side to expand,” said Linhoff, adding that the company will hold a grand opening in the spring but encourages people to stop in and see the showroom displays.
Perfection Glass offers a complete line of products for residential remodeling and new construction, including windows, skylights, shower doors, shelving and mirrors.
“When it comes to shower doors, if it’s not custom, it’s not going to make a splash. If you go out and buy a house that’s 10 years old, replacing a shower door can make a difference,” he said.
On the commercial side, Perfection Glass works on projects large and small. Commercial projects include Kadlec Regional Medical Center, Trios Southridge Hospital and Westgate Elementary School.
The company’s Kennewick location will continue to house the commercial side of the business. The building that faces Auburn Street will be vacated, but the three buildings that face Canal Street will stay, Linhoff said. Moving the residential side of the business to Richland will free up about 5,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet of space.
“It’s an ample amount to spread our wings,” said Linhoff, who said the business plans to increase residential displays at the new location. “The downtown Kennewick location didn’t have much of a display. Now we’ll have an open space for mirrors and shower doors. And then one of the warehouses will be for window storage. We’re very strong in the window replacement market, and that’s where I’m going to see some efficiency grown.”
Linhoff said lack of space made it hard to prep and stage windows and shower doors that would need to go out the next morning. Now there’s also going to be plenty of room to bring product in, stock it and save crews trips to the lumberyard.
“And when you can save your crew 10 minutes here and 10 minutes there, it adds up. We look to serve our customers better,” he said. “We’re blessed and thankful to have all this work, and we sure would like to take some more on.”
Since opening in 1976, Perfection Glass has grown from a staff of five to more than 70 employees. The company also has expanded to Walla Walla by acquiring Yale Glass Co. in September 2017.
Yale Glass Co. primarily focused on commercial work while Perfection Glass spends about 65 percent of its time on residential work. Keeping the Yale Glass Co. name, the company has spent the last year creating a footprint in Walla Walla’s residential market.
There are currently no plans for the company to expand into Pasco, but Linhoff doesn’t dismiss the idea.
“We’ll be able to service Pasco where we’re at. If I can find some nice industrial land (I’d consider it). But we’re not targeting Pasco,” Linhoff said. “If the commercial department can continue to grow we might look at a different location. There’s a lot of industrial land out there. We’ll keep our eyes open.”
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