From left to right: Jennifer Thuma of Grayscale Design; Chad Goodfellow, Chelsea Goodfellow, and Chris Martin of Goodfellow Bros.; and Oya Hainje of Grayscale Design celebrate at the opening of the new downtown office.

By Chris Martin, Goodfellow Bros.

Goodfellow Bros. was founded nearly 100 years ago in Wenatchee. With projects all over the region from dam building to large highway jobs and everything in between, it was the founders’ belief that Goodfellow Bros. was not simply building roads but helping build a nation. This dedication to quality work and becoming the contractor of choice for the communities in which we work and live continues a century later.

Our corporate office in downtown Wenatchee houses the accounting, contracts, safety, IT, and equipment departments of Goodfellow Bros. along with the real estate and asset management company Pacific Rim Land. With expansion to other areas, including Hawaii, Oregon, Idaho, and most recently California, much of our actual work is done outside of Central Washington, but the heart of our company remains in Wenatchee.

In the last several years, our Wenatchee headquarters had grown and was operating out of three separate buildings. With this steady growth, it was past time to think about seriously reinvesting in creating a central Wenatchee office. This had been attempted multiple times over the past ten years or so and was never brought to fruition; as luck would have it, I had recently joined the company, and I was asked to start scouting locations.

Under the guidance of the fourth-generation CEO, Chad Goodfellow, we knew immediately that downtown Wenatchee was where we wanted to be. While there are numerous factors to consider in a major move like this, above all else we knew the best thing for the company would be to do the best thing for the staff. In addition to considering the needs of our current staff, we also had to think about what the next generation of staff would need. This next generation of employees appreciates working in an urban environment. While not as populous as a city like Seattle, downtown Wenatchee is still urban and is an eclectic mix of local shops, offices, cafes, restaurants, and bars. These are all amenities that add value to keeping a company like Goodfellow on a Washington Main Street. As an added benefit, we could see that growth and positive change are on the horizon for Wenatchee’s downtown, and we wanted to play an active role in its revival.

We found the gorgeous 1929 Metropolitan Building (formerly known as the Dore Building) and discovered that another group of investors had bought it a year before with the goal of retrofitting it and bringing it back to life. Lucky for us the building’s new owners, Rory Turner and partners, were willing to sell us the 12,000 square feet that made up the building’s top floor.

After finding the space, it was in my hands to put together a team that shared our vision and get it built. To fully understand that vision we wanted to travel to Seattle and Portland to see what some of today’s cutting-edge offices look like. Along with Chad and his sister Chelsea, who also works for the company, I set off to the offices of Facebook, Wieden+Kennedy, and Sellen Construction. Armed with this inspiration and tons of articles on the dos and don’ts of the modern office, we solidified our vision. To bring it into a reality, we grabbed an amazing design firm from Seattle, Grayscale Design, who listened to everything we had in our heads and were able to turn it into drawings. Then the fun really ramped up as we began to bring the vision to life.

For construction we stayed local by hiring Eider Construction. Eider was primarily a custom home builder, but as I interviewed the principal, Flint Hartwig, he impressed me with his ability to think through large issues, find creative solutions, and have fun doing it. That is the type of person I wanted to spend my days with a project like this that was bound to have unforeseen obstacles, as old buildings do. Over the course of a year, Eider Construction transformed our pigeon-infested building into a beautiful space that rivals the most chic offices in Seattle. The end result is stunning, and while the form is gorgeous, the function is also ideal.

Our Wenatchee staff of approximately 50 people is happier than ever to come to work in the new space. As for the employees we have yet to hire, one look at this space and the resumes are stacking up!

The Metropolitan Building in downtown Wenatchee, now the corporate headquarters of Goodfellow Bros.

Interior of the Metropolitan Building in Wenatchee before renovation.

The beautiful new interiors of the Goodfellow Bros. offices in downtown Wenatchee.

The beautiful new interiors of the Goodfellow Bros. offices in downtown Wenatchee.