Managing principals: Arlan Collins, Mark Woerman

Specialty: Community planning and design; health care; science and technology; interiors; corporate and commercial

Year founded: 1979

2002 revenues: N/A

Projected 2003 revenues: N/A

Largest current projects: 428 Westlake Building, South Lake Union; Port of Seattle Terminal 91 redevelopment study; Georgia Pacific surplus property development, Bellingham Bay; Seattle Biomedical Research Institute building

Tommy Bahama’s new headquarters
Sketch courtesy of CollinsWoerman
CollinsWoerman designed clothier Tommy Bahama’s new headquarters in South Lake Union.

The Puget Sound area’s sluggish, post-Sept. 11th economy hasn’t had any negative impacts on CollinsWoerman, the Bellevue architectural firm that started life in 1979 as the CNA Architecture Group. It’s even grown.

“Fortunately, our work has remained steady in a pretty iffy economy. We’ve had no layoffs like some (architecture firms),” said Elizabeth Morgan, director of business development. In fact, the firm now has 85 on the payroll, up from 70 in May 2002, and Morgan anticipates adding staff in 2004 to meet the demands of what she calls “a comfortable backlog” of projects.

She credits that success with having “great clients and projects already in-house when the downturn started and we continue to work on those (strengths).” Most of the firm’s work is in the Pacific Northwest, with some projects in Hawaii, Alaska, Nevada and California.

Current projects include work in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood where Vulcan Inc. and Westlake Partners LLC are creating a fresh urban core of retail, biotech, office and residential elements.

CollinsWoerman recently released a rendering of the six-story 428 Westlake Building being built soon on South Lake Union with clothing maker Tommy Bahama filling 78,000 square feet of the 85,000 square-foot building for its new Seattle offices and 325 employees. The business wants to consolidate operations from its two present locations and have room for growth.

“We had intended to move our headquarters there from Bellevue but that’s off now since Tommy Bahama has leased nearly all of the building,” Morgan said.

In its strong health care arena, CollinsWoerman has found a lull in construction of new facilities, but that produced a growing need for upgrading existing facilities, leading to numerous new projects for the firm, she said.

Other major work for the firm includes the Seattle Biomedical Research Institute building in South Lake Union, a hospital in Pullman and tenant improvements for law firms, including preparing space for David Wright Tremaine’s move to the same Bellevue office building CollinsWoerman has its headquarters in.

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