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October 29, 2015
Specialty: Architectural and interior design services across a diverse range of commercial project types with an emphasis on retail, office, mixed-use and multifamily
Management: David S. Hills, president
2015 revenues: $6.5 million
Projected 2016 revenues: $9 million
Projects: Hawk Tower, formerly known as East Block Stadium Place, Seattle; Urbana Apartments, Seattle
Freiheit & Ho President David S. Hills answered questions about his company and the industry.
Q: Have any Freiheit & Ho divisions increased business this last year?
A: All of our target market sectors have seen growth in the last year with particular strength in the office, industrial, multifamily, community spaces and office interiors markets, followed by hospitality and retail.
Q: Which project or two are you most proud of in 2015?
A: We are proud of the Hawk Tower at Stadium Place project. This property features twin towers with 180,000 square feet of class A office tower and a 282-room Embassy Suites hotel. A key feature is the five-story glass atrium that connects the two towers and how it informs the neighborhood on a larger urban scale. The atrium creates a pedestrian cross-block connection that is important in reconnecting the International District with Pioneer Square, creating a rich pedestrian experience by providing public gathering spaces supported by ground-level retail.
Another, the Urbana Apartments located in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, highlights our ability to create a truly mixed-use residential property. The success of Urbana demonstrates the critical roll well-designed amenity spaces play in the value of multifamily developments.
Q: Have you adopted any new technologies in your LEED or sustainable design approach?
A: We are seeing a continued move beyond the certification program towards a more holistic approach measurable building performance. While still in the development stage we believe this approach will yield more benefits than traditional certification programs.
Q: Has there been an increase in hotel and gaming projects at Freiheit & Ho?
A: The gaming sector has begun to recover with a few significant gaming projects on our boards. Surprisingly, we are seeing a renewed strength in the retail marketplace. While still struggling to some degree we have seen our retail clients grow across a number of market segments.
Q: Have you seen an uptick in business from the high-tech sector?
A: Yes, the high-tech sector has seen considerable growth in both our office and office interiors services. We have seen much of this growth on the Eastside, more than the downtown Seattle area.
Q: Any predictions for 2016?
A: We believe the design and construction growth will continue in conjunction with the Puget Sound economy especially within the urban, mixed-use markets. We expect to parallel that growth along with increasing work throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond.