Landau Associates

Specialty: Site remediation services, geotechnical engineering, natural resources and environmental permitting
Owner: Privately-held, employee-owned
2001 revenues: $8.5 million
2002 revenues: $9.5 million
Location: Headquartered in Edmonds with offices in Tacoma, Spokane and Portland

Despite the limp economy, Landau Associates has been doing just fine, thank you. “This past year has been surprisingly good,” said Principal Larry Beard. “Our business has stayed quite strong.”

Work is nearing completion on the Port of Olympia’s Cascade Pole site remediation, and the firm just landed a $1 million, 2-year on-call contract with the state Department of Transportation.

Other clients such as Home Depot, Seattle Public Utilities, Boeing, Pierce County and a number of municipalities have kept the 80-employee firm busy.

Landau Associates specializes in site environmental investigation and cleanup, environmental and geotechnical engineering, natural resource assessment and environmental permitting services.

One change Beard has noticed lately is that the Endangered Species Act is figuring more prominently into his firm’s work. “We’re seeing more and more natural-resource projects that are drawing on fisheries and biologists,” he said, referring to efforts to nurture endangered salmon habitat.

ESA rules have been generating work for Landau as more projects have hinged on getting through the environmental permitting process, he said. Still, he speculated that environmental regulations could reach the point that “it’s so burdensome, people aren’t willing to do business.”

Beard said about 60 percent to 70 percent of Landau’s business comes from the private sector, with public projects tougher to predict because of desultory funding. Transportation spending, for instance, is likely to slow down unless voters pass at least one of a couple large transportation plans in the fall or spring, he said.

To mark its 20th year in business, Landau made an “overdue” revision of its logo, simplifying its appearance and updating its colors from traditional blues, greens and grays to brick red. The market for environmental and site remediation services is becoming mature, Beard said, so marketing is an increasingly important way for firms to separate themselves from their competitors.

“We’ve been doing a number of things such as direct marketing and presentations to industry groups,” Beard said. “And it has been effective.”

Even with misgivings about the economy, Beard sees opportunities for growth.

“Developers keep going forward,” he said.

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