A Vancouver real estate management and development firm is expanding into the Tri-Cities, drawn by the area’s growth.
Carmen Villarma, president and founder of The Management Group (TMG), broke ground on a two-story office at 30 S. Louisiana St. in west Kennewick this fall. It includes ground floor space for both TMG and AMS Northwest, its homeowner association management business, and second-floor office space for rent.
The 21,775-square-foot building has a building permit value of $2.4 million and will open in May.
The second-floor will be split between rentable office space and an executive suite space with private and communal office space.
Villarma’s husband and partner, Dennis Pavlina, is the general contractor.
The duo has developed several real estate projects in the Tri-Cities, but the property management footprint is light.
Villarma said she is looking to build the business and will hire local property managers and office staff. Two current employees from each side of the business will move to the Tri-Cities to open the office.
“The Tri-Cities has lots of qualified people there. There’s lots of real estate there,” she said.
It’s a similar approach to the one they took when they opened a satellite office across the Columbia River from Vancouver in Portland.
They previously built Seasons on Fourth Avenue, an apartment community, in western Kennewick, Park View Estates and a duplex community near Hansen Park. They are eyeing spot in the neighborhood for a residential-and-office project but do not expect to close on the land deal until the end of the year.
“We love the Tri-Cities,” Villarma said. “The Tri-Cities is just a growing little powerhouse.”
The couple will self-manage the executive suites business, called Columbia Executive Suite, and will retain a local commercial broker to represent them on the remaining office space.
Villarma, who bought the Louisiana Street property in 2017, considered buying an existing office building and toured candidates in the Tri-Cities.
She said she decided to build new after moving her headquarters into offices that had to be remodeled. The extensive and costly tenant improvements were less than satisfactory.
The Louisiana Street is close to West Clearwater Avenue and to properties she owns.
“It seemed to be a perfect fit for us. I decided to build it so I could have whatever I wanted,” she said.
TMG recently launched a foundation to carry out the company’s philanthropic efforts with a focus on children and veterans.
Villarma is the second Vancouver-based investor attracted to the Tri-Cities by growth and the stabilizing effects of federal spending at Hanford. Inland Ocean LLC, led by Jane Schmid-Cook and her partner and former husband, Rod Cook, paid $7 million for Marineland Plaza at West Clearwater Avenue and North Edison Street.
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