Cary Kopczynski & Co.

President: Cary Kopczynski

Specialty: Structural engineering of buildings and parking structures

Year founded: 1985

2002 revenues: $3 million

Projected 2003 revenues: $3.5 million

Largest current projects: Century Tower; Hayden Ferry Lakeside, Tempe, Ariz.; Microsoft-Issaquah Highlands parking structures; The Shops at Tanforan parking structures, San Bruno, Calif.

Cary Kopczynski apologized for failing to return an earlier phone call — his firm was moving, he explained.

With his lease expiring soon, Kopczynski decided to bolt for a “bigger and better space” four blocks away in Kemper Freeman’s Bellevue Place complex, which Kopczynski helped design. His 25-employee firm will now have room to expand to 40.

“We’ve grown and intend to keep growing,” Kopczynski said.

With consistent work on the East Coast and elsewhere, Kopczynski has fought the urge to establish another outpost.

“One of our concerns was the remoteness issue,” he said of his far-flung projects in places like Charlottesville, Va. “But that has not been a problem.”

E-mail and other technology has enabled the firm to keep in touch with far-away project team members, and when travel does come into play, Kopczynski said, “the meetings tend to be more focused and more productive.”

“It’s much easier to control the quality of the work in one office,” he explained. “That’s a bigger issue for us — we sell quality.”

The firm has been building up its national portfolio over the past decade as competition has heated up locally.

“Seattle was a magnet for a lot of firms during the 90s, so the competition has been very healthy,” Kopczynski said. “The availability of work seems to be elsewhere.”

Kopczynski’s largest out-of-state projects include parking structures on the University of Virginia campus and at a San Bruno, Calif., shopping center. A project in Tempe, Ariz., will include a sprawling complex of office, retail and condominium towers.

Closer to home, the firm recently finished work on a 13-story condominium tower at First Avenue and Clay Street and on the 203-unit Dexter Lake Union apartment complex developed by Opus. Kopczynski also worked with Opus on Bremerton’s $50 million Harborside development.

Kopczynski said he also expects Continental-Bentall’s 33-story Century Tower project in the Denny Triangle to kick off soon after a 2-year hiatus. Also on the slate are several large parking structures for Microsoft’s Issaquah Highlands campus.

“The economy to us looks to be improving,” Kopczynski said. “We’re getting for RFPs and seeing more projects come back to life.”

Looking ahead, he said, “the next couple years look pretty good.”

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