Practice: Planning, engineering, architecture

Founded: 1981

Leadership: Nawzad Othman, president and CEO

Otak: Swamp Creek flood reduction improvements  Kenmore
Otak: Swamp Creek flood reduction improvements Kenmore

Despite the recession, Otak shows continuing strength in several markets, including transit and transportation, public works, growth management planning, mixed-use, commercial, industrial, civic, institutional and recreational markets.

There are presently 80 professional staff members in the Puget Sound region and 250 firmwide, and gross fees last year were approximately $27.5 million. Volume is expected to be about the same this year as last.

Otak is based in Lake Oswego, Ore., with offices in Seattle; Kirkland; Vancouver, Wash.; Bend and Corvallis, Ore.; Tempe, Ariz.; Carbondale and Denver, Colo.

As for the future, the firm anticipates that transit, transportation, residential and public works areas of the industry will continue to grow, according to Courtney McFadden, Puget Sound marketing supervisor for Otak. "As more people plan shorter, domestic vacations, we anticipate there will be an increased demand for recreational, interpretive and tourism facilities as regional destinations." Also, she predicted there will be growing emphasis on accessibility in planning and design. Infill redevelopment and urban design will also continue to be an emerging opportunity in the Seattle region.

Recent projects include Sammamish Trails master plan and Swamp Creek flood reduction improvements, Kenmore, which involves replacement of the 73rd Avenue Bridge and construction of an adjacent levee. Levee design will incorporate improved pedestrian facilities for children walking to and from school. The firm has also been at work on the Tacoma Dome commuter rail station for Sound Transit, which includes construction of a 2,000-square-foot concourse integrated into the existing Freighthouse Square building, and a new at-grade platform with canopies and windscreens.

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