Specialty: Urban mixed-use housing, retail, hospitality
Will Castillo says much of his company’s future is in places like Burien, where a public-private partnership is developing an urban village on 10 downtown acres.
“It’s what we see as a trend,” says Castillo of GGLO, an architecture, interior design, planning and landscape design company. “It’s smaller cities wanting to create a core downtown with a mix of uses. That’s where we feel our strength is.”
GGLO did the initial planning for the Burien project and is working on the public plaza and some of the housing and retail. The company is in charge of the interiors of the new library.
The project allowed GGLO to apply its skills to find “a logical and reasonable approach” to the large project, says Castillo, who expects more communities to pursue similar projects. “I think (the trend) is still in a fairly early stage.”
Housing is the driver GGLO worked on the planning and entitlements at a similar project, Port Gardner Wharf in Everett, and now the company is designing some of the buildings.
Castillo says housing will drive such projects, and sees continued strength in the condo market. Liability issues had put the squeeze on the sector, but people are now getting comfortable with the idea of building apartments and condos. He adds some clients are asking GGLO to design multifamily projects with an eye toward eventually converting the units to condos.
GGLO has 82 employees. That’s smaller than in the days before 9-11, but 15 to 20 percent larger than the last couple years. Castillo said the company wants measured, strategic growth. “We’re trying to grow at a rate that we can maintain our quality and serve our clients.”
He says the overall market is solid, but “things are going so fast that you wonder if we are going to get overbuilt.”
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