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April 24, 2014

Survey: Andersen Construction

Image by Sky-Pix Aerial Photography [enlarge]
Andersen Construction is building the 298-unit Dimension by Alta apartment in Belltown.

Specialty: Construction management/general contractor

Management: Joel Rohrs, Seattle division manager; Joel Andersen, vice president; David Andersen, president

Founded: 1950

Headquarters: Portland

2013 revenues: $380 million

Projected 2014 revenues: $495 million

Current projects: Dimension by Alta, a 27-story, mixed-use apartment tower at Third Avenue and Cedar Street in downtown Seattle; Harrison Medical Center orthopaedic expansion in Silverdale; a market-rate/low-income apartment for Seattle Housing Authority at 1105 E. Fir St. in Seattle.

Q: What types of projects will thrive locally in 2015? Which ones won’t?

A: We believe the mixed-use, residential, multifamily market will still be strong in 2015 and even into 2016. We also see that health-care projects should start to be stronger next year. The commercial office market is also an opportunity that exists, but only in a few buildings in the downtown core. It doesn’t seem to be as strong as the other markets.

Q: What trends are you seeing in the industry?

A: Lean construction principles have made their way into our everyday lives. From how we design a project, to how we construct one, we are challenging ourselves everyday with smarter, faster and better ways to build for our clients. We are pushing our people and our process to become a very lean organization.

Q: Is there overbuilding in the apartment market in Seattle or Bellevue?

A: We don’t believe that it is over-built, rather it is catering to the current demand. In our estimation, Bellevue is actually under-built currently. We are all looking for when the bubble might burst, but it seems very strong right now.

Q: What does your firm do in terms of green practices?

A: We believe green practices are and have become the way of the contractor. Green means more to us than achieving a number for a fixture on a wall, but moreover, it is a social responsibility we have to our environment and community at large to be green. We spend a great amount of time in pre-construction looking at ways to reuse, re-purpose or recycle. A great example of this is our expanded office in Seattle. Roughly 95 percent of all materials in our office are just that. We are living and breathing in a green environment.

Q: You have offices in Oregon, Idaho and Washington. Which area is going to do best next year?

A: All three of our offices are doing great. Our Portland office has a great backlog of work that extends into 2017. Our Boise office is growing by leaps and bounds. Given the fact that our Seattle office is six years young, we feel we are making progress into our major markets and gaining market share. I’d like to say Seattle is doing better, but that is just the competitive side of me talking. We are one company and things are going very well for us right now.

Q: What’s the biggest issue in your industry?

A: Currently our biggest issue is manpower. The construction market is very hot in the Puget Sound region and our skilled workforce as well as qualified management staff is projected to be tapped out. There are only so many people in the area, but there are a lot of buildings going up and many more planned. Having qualified people will be our biggest concern.

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