Callison Architecture

Management: William Karst, CEO; Robert Tindall, president; Steve Epple, COO

Specialty: Retail, hospitality, corporate, health care, residential and mixed-use

Year founded: 1975

2002-03 revenues (ended Sept. 30): $68 million

Projected 2003-04 revenues: $73 million

Largest current projects: Ayala Center, Manila; Meydenbauer Center, Bellevue; City Center, Doha, Qatar

Photo courtesy Callison Architecture
Ayala Center, Manila

Business is good, locally and globally, for Seattle’s Callison Architecture, with $68 million in gross revenues for the 2002-3 fiscal year (up from $62 million in 1999-2000) and predictions of $73 million in the coming year, an anticipated 8 percent increase, according to President Robert Tindall.

Employment is up, too, from 395 in May 2002 to 410, approaching the firm’s peak workforce of 415 prior to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Locally, the firm is focused on the Meydenbauer Center expansion, a wrap-around development that includes three office towers, a hotel tower and 150,000 square feet of retail space.

“We’re also working with a number of cities to plan and re-plan urban cores to make them more viable for development,” Tindall said. “Retail seems to be the driver for those mixed-use projects, with housing over the top. But the downside is the current litigation issue with condos that’s slowing these developments.

Affordable housing in mixed projects is where we’re going and our laws have not adjusted yet to protect our developers.”

Globally, Callison’s Insight Alliance partnership with two other major architectural firms — convention center designer Thompson, Ventulett, Stainback & Associates of Atlanta and Honolulu-based hotel and resort designer Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo — is paying off.

Tindall recently returned from a trip to the Middle East where he’s been working on the Dubai Cityscape project. The firm has also begun a large master-planning project in Doha, Qatar.

“It’s a full-island development with hotels, residential, commercial, office space and retail, a massive project involving dredging and fill in the harbor. We’re working with Wimberly on it,” he said.

Through the Insight Alliance’s ability to compete for large projects, Callison is looking at how it can serve new clients in the Middle East and Asia, particularly in China, another developing market that already includes design work for a portion of a “couple hundred million-dollar” project there.

“We want and need more presence is those areas, but not necessarily branch offices,” he said.

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