Early boarding pass: Everett’s rising passenger terminal

Here’s what to expect when two airlines begin passenger service at Paine Field later this year.

By Jim Davis
Published Wednesday, January 10, 2018 HERALD BUSINESS JOURNAL
used with permission

EVERETT — Brett Smith has traveled a lot in his career. He’s been in and out of airports across the country.

That’s given him valuable experience for his task at hand — developing Everett’s airport terminal.

Smith is the founder and CEO of Propeller Airports, a for-profit company that’s building the commercial terminal at Paine Field.

The terminal is scheduled to be finished in July and open in September. Two airlines, United and Alaska, have committed to flying out of it.

In his travels, he’s seen beautiful, successful airports and ones that miss the mark.

“The ones that are really good, a lot of thought has gone into it,” Smith said. “I can tell you that’s what I spend all of my time thinking about — Paine Field. It’s easy to put up a terminal, it’s hard to do it right.”

The 27,000-square-foot, two-gate terminal between Paine Field’s administrative offices and the airport control tower was designed by Denver-based Fentress Architects and is being built by Fisher Construction Group of Burlington.

The terminal should be popular. It can take an hour and a half or longer to get from Snohomish County to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the closest airport with scheduled air service.

And Sea-Tac is becoming more crowded each year. Sea-Tac went from being the 13th-busiest airport in the U.S., with 20.1 million travelers in 2015, to the ninth-busiest, with 21.9 million travelers in 2016, according to data from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Smith is not saying how much is being spent to build the Everett terminal. This is the first commercial passenger terminal for Propeller, which is leasing 11 acres from Snohomish County at Paine Field in exchange for $429,000 per year in rent, plus a share of flight and parking revenues.

Smith has his hands in the thousands of details behind the look and feel of the terminal. He describes the project as having “a lot of glass, a lot of Pacific Northwest in it, a lot of wood, we really want it to match the region.”

He also wants this airport to be one people choose not just because of proximity but also experience.

He envisions the experience like that of a hotel — people walk through the door into a lobby to meet a concierge.

“Once you’re past security, you’ll walk into what looks like a living room with two fireplaces and a bar and a place to get something to eat,” Smith said. “There will be huge glass windows, you can look out onto the mountain range. I think it’s going to be special.”

The terminal will feature two jet bridges at the gates. Many smaller airports have people walk across the ramp to board the plane. That would save Propeller money. But it would also create a problem for travelers.

“It rains a lot,” Smith said. “I don’t want people to go outside.”

In fact, Propeller is splurging on glass jet bridges.

“There’s such beautiful scenery, we’re taking the extra step, we’re spending the extra money for glass so that by the time you walk into the terminal until the time you board the planes it will be a pleasant experience,” he said.

Building an air terminal from the ground up means the design can include the latest technology.
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Fisher’s ‘Cool Port’ Project Is Underway in the Port of Oakland

While building a cold storage is complex enough, sometimes the huge amount of planning that occurs before the first excavator arrives on site makes the actual structure that much more amazing. So it is with the Lineage Logistic’s Cool Port—a public-private partnership between Lineage Logistics, Dreisbach Enterprises and the Port of Oakland, California.

As the design|builder chosen by Lineage, Fisher worked out multiple options to make the cold storage project feasible for all of its stakeholders. Cool Port is permitted in five separate jurisdictions. Fisher is also managing the project for compliance with the Port’s stringent labor objectives.

Though perfectly located where deep water meets rail, the 22-acre site comes with its challenges: The site is a former Army base located on the tidelands of Oakland Bay. Fisher’s team must deal with unknown sunken hazards and potential contamination in the already soupy tide flats. To start the project, Fisher is driving 1,800 piles fifty feet beneath the ground surface to counter-act settling and brace the building’s slab foundation.

The Cool Port trans-load facility will begin supporting the fifth busiest port in US in August of 2018. The facility’s double winged docks with 36 rail docks and 90 truck docks will handle meat and other perishables for storage in the -10° F main freezer or one of two convertible rooms.

As a central piece of Oakland’s economic future, the facility is projected to handle 9,000 rail cars per year (in Phase I) and an additional 9,000 containers by truck.

New Project with Litehouse Foods

Fisher Construction Group is pleased to be working with Litehouse Foods on the Ella Cooler Addition in Sandpoint, Idaho

Litehouse Foods has come a long way since selling homemade dressings out of their restaurant located on Lake Pend Oreille in Idaho more than 50 years ago. Today, they are definitely more than just delicious dressings– Litehouse Foods now offers dips, herbs, cheese and even cider!

Managed by Sr. PM Corey Anderson with Supt. Benny Vietz leading the field operations, the 25,000 SF facility will store dressings—just part of the over 1,100 different product SKU’s Litehouse has to offer. The facility will be fully racked with a 1,500 SF freezer in the coolers.

Due to be completed in October 2017, the project also includes a small transportation office, six loading docks, and forklift charging stations along with a structural upgrade to an existing building. Throughout construction, the Sandpoint facility will remain operational, producing and shipping products.

The demo of the old docks and the building of the new docks overlap during construction. Keeping the loading docks open and usable is imperative during the entire effort. Fisher’s team is carefully choreographing the project schedule to keep Litehouse’s product flow on schedule during the retrofit portion.

Now employee owned, Litehouse continues to grow market share, producing dressings, dips and other products. At Fisher Construction Group we look forward to teaming up with them as they continue to grow their company.

Thank You for Your Service Eric

It’s time to salute Eric Burcroff, one of our own. A Fisher employee since 1998, Eric recently retired from the United States Navy as a Master Chief Petty Officer, the Navy’s highest enlisted rank. The ceremony recognizing his 31 years of service in the Seabees was held on Saturday, April 1 at Naval Station Everett. Fisher co-workers, along with a ‘boat-load’ of fellow officers in dress uniform, attended the ceremony and reported it as an awe-inspiring ‘proud to be an American’ event.

Trained in both combat and construction, the Seabees (Naval Construction Force) is the arm of the military that builds and repairs infrastructure–during military operations and as goodwill after natural disasters.

Eric served active duty with the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion from 1983 – 1988 and then joined the Reserves, serving from 1992 – 2017. He has been deployed around the world, performing construction projects in many places including Guam, Japan and South Korea as well as supporting the war effort of Iraqi Freedom in 2006-2007. As a Project Foreman for Fisher, Eric has also served in many places–Louisiana, Alaska, and California, just to name a few.

We’re grateful for Eric’s service to our country and count ourselves blessed have employees of his caliber on the Fisher team.

Fisher’s Team Gives Back to the Community

Fisher’s Architecture and Engineering team recently built an outdoor shelter for Friendship House as a community service project. Friendship House provides emergency housing for men, women and children in Mount Vernon. This project was a design | build project in every sense. The team created the plans, set the footings and built the covered outdoor structure. Now complete, residents of the shelter now have a dry place outside of the four walls of the house.

Jennifer Johnson and Brett Detering led the project and lassoed their co-workers to participate. The entire team, joined by some of their family members, constructed the project over a couple of weekends.

Along with the company, Fisher has grown its offering of services.. Over the past 5 years, we’ve added structural engineering services along with the architectural design which we’ve had for more than 25 years. The A & E team now has 16 people.

NewCold and Fisher Break Ground in Tacoma

Tacoma, WA,  January 3, 2017: NewCold and Fisher Construction Group have broken ground for building NewCold’s Tacoma Automated Coldstore, located in proximity to the Port of Tacoma and I-5.

The coldstore will use state of the art technology including automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS) to automatically move and store products in the ‘dark’ high-bay warehouse. The equipment and operators will be directed by advanced software systems, while products are kept in optimal conditions with all coldstore areas cooled down to sub-zero temperatures.

This advanced cold chain solution ensures that processes are sustainable, traceable, fully integrated with the processes of NewCold’s customers, and always at the very forefront of technological developments. It offers a high and consistent logistic service level, and above all, offer a more sustainable and better food safety alternative to more conventional coldstore solutions.

The futuristic multi-customer coldstore enables food producers, including Trident Seafoods, to optimize their cold chain management, with increased agility and responsiveness to better serve the needs of their domestic and international end customers, 24/7.

Excellent Partners for This Significant Project

David Richardson, President and CEO of NewCold says “With this ground-breaking, NewCold brings to Tacoma, the Pacific Northwest, and North America, 16 years of leadership in automated cold storage development and operations.  Although our roots are in Europe, our heart is with global food producers where ever NewCold can bring value.  We could not be more pleased than to stand as partners beside Fisher Construction Company and our sponsoring customer, Trident Seafoods. NewCold highly values trusted partnerships and the partnerships created to realize this efficient, giant freezer are very special.  Our sincere thanks to the City of Tacoma for their critical support and guidance.  Pierce County and the City of Tacoma are full partners, as well. They are easy to work with and clearly focused on economic growth through leading technologies and we are thrilled to be investing here.”

We could not be more pleased than to stand as partners beside Fisher Construction Company and our sponsoring customer, Trident Seafoods. NewCold highly values trusted partnerships and the partnerships created to realize this efficient, giant freezer are very special.

Randy Furtner, CFO of Trident Seafoods continues “We have been investigating the possibilities of optimizing our cold chain with an automated coldstore for a long time. We went through a rigorous process with NewCold’s team to make sure that the coldstore solution fulfills all our needs. NewCold’s extensive experience in automated coldstore development and operation have helped us to realize our ambitions. We look forward to working together with NewCold in this generational coldstore project, which will play a pivotal role in our cold chain.”

The state of the art freezer is a joint design effort and construction by NewCold and Fisher Construction Group of Burlington (WA). The facility will be one of the largest in the USA with a storage capacity of over 25 million cubic feet, comparable to the volume of Seahawks CenturyLink Field.

“Fisher is excited to partner with NewCold on this facility, their first in North America” says Dan Powers, President, and CEO of Fisher Construction Group. “The unique method used to build this facility, and the technologies incorporated within facility are the way of the future, and we’re pleased to team with them and their storage partners to make it a reality.” Leading edge technologies used in addition to the automated pallet retrieval systems, are the building itself being supported by the structure of the storage racks which will hold the pallets of products, the low-oxygen environment reducing the risk of fire from the inside entirely, and the total building design needing only half the energy consumed by conventional cold stores to keep the products optimally frozen.

“NewCold is a great addition the logistics industry in Pierce County and Tacoma, employing up to 100 employees when fully operational, and providing vital support for the region’s robust food production capability” says EDB President and CEO Bruce Kendall. “We are thrilled they are bringing their first US operations here.  Their highly automated and energy-efficient facility will support Trident’s growing business and serve other customers”.

The permitting team at the City of Tacoma worked conscientiously to review permits and get the construction off to a smooth start.   “From the very first meeting, this project was off to a great start with successful teamwork between company representatives, designers, project managers and our permitting folks.”

Fisher Construction Group
A construction services company based in the Pacific Northwest, Fisher Construction Group designs and builds commercial and industrial facilities throughout the continental US and Alaska. Offering turnkey building solutions to the cold storage and food processing industries, Fisher’s team of builders, architects, structural engineers and food processing experts are known for building highly efficient facilities that deliver on investment. The company has steadily grown over the last five years to become the company that it is today with annual revenues of over $200 million.

NewCold is an integrated service provider for cold chain logistics based in the Netherlands. NewCold operates a European network of large scale automated cold stores and refrigerated transport serving frozen food producers in France, Germany, United Kingdom and Poland. NewCold is further expanding its operations globally, building on decades of know how in developing and operating advanced cold chain logistics solutions.

Silver Bay Seafoods Nearing Completion

Keeping Pace with Global Seafood Demand

Silver Bay Seafoods LLC is a processor of fish products based in Sitka, Alaska. Born out of the vision of a group of fishermen, Silver Bay’s integrated approach to catching and processing fish for domestic and international markets has seen tremendous growth. In less than ten years of operation, the company has grown from a single processing facility to one of the largest seafood companies in Alaska, operating five processing facilities throughout the state, with plans to begin processing squid in California in the near future.

Working closely with Silver Bay, Fisher Construction Group of Burlington Washington is nearing completion of a 64,679 sf. processing plant with admin office in Valdez, Alaska. Breaking ground in April of 2015, the construction crews worked 12-hour shifts through the summer to close-in the building before the first snow arrived in November. Once closed-in, crews worked through the winter installing the fire, refrigeration, mechanical systems, along with the equipment, so the facility is ready to begin processing pink salmon in June.

The Valdez processing facility will operate during summer fishing season, primarily processing pink salmon which will then be sent companies for end-use processing. Beyond the meat itself, this Silver Bay facility will process salmon roe for wild salmon caviar, and recover fish oil from the remaining solids.

With an eye towards maximum production during the peak season, Fisher installed 1,760 feet of underground supply lines to transfer fish from the tender boats to the processing plant. The underground supply lines provided multiple advantages: they are less prone to freezing and didn’t require overhead support systems.

Designed to Meet Silver Bay’s Specific Needs
To process fish as quickly as possible, the new Valdez facility features a robust refrigeration system when measured against typical food processing standards. Because the city of Valdez was not able to allocate enough power to meet Silver Bay’s needs, ten generators will support the plant, delivering 7 Megawatts of power to run the processing operations until the power grid is expanded. The two freeze tunnels and a plate freezer can freeze up to 130,000 round pounds of salmon per hour.

A refrigerated salt water system (RSW) circulates chilled water to the tanks, lowering the temperature of the fish for processing as quickly as possible, maximizing the quality of the product.

Built Clean
The highly automated facility meets food safety standards and is designed to hold up to the tough rigor of daily cleaning. A mezzanine was built to process and freeze the salmon caviar. The mezzanine clean room has a sloped epoxy floor and boxed girders to minimize the possibility of cross-contamination and harborage of micro-organisms.

It is Called ‘The Last Frontier’ for a Reason
Building in Alaska takes tremendous planning and forethought. Before breaking ground on the processing plant, Fisher built a three-story bunk house to house the construction workers, and later plant employees, in the small community on Prince William Sound whose population is about 4,000 people.

The processing plant and bunkhouse are built to withstand a winter snow-pack of up to 27 feet. From the structural steel down to every tool and its replacement, all of the construction materials were carefully planned by the construction crew and packed in containers to make the 1,500 mile trip by barge from Seattle.

The building’s structural design dealt with the particular challenge of locating in an area very prone to earthquakes. The Great Alaska Quake of 1964 caused severe damage and loss of life throughout the region. Valdez itself was relocated after the quake. Seismic engineering and construction have made tremendous advancements in years since. For this plant, Fisher’s team drove 252 steel piles in the substrate below the 10-inch structural slab and grade beams.

The processing plant is built with composite structural steel, a standing seam roof, and metal siding. The structure itself is designed to withstand the wind and snow loads that an Alaskan winter can dole out. For fire protection, a dry sprinkler system was installed, making it possible stand empty in the off season, and restart for seasonal production.

The fifth Silver Bay processing plant in Alaska, this plant will provide seasonal work for up to 350 people.

Fisher Breaks Ground for US Cold Storage in Sacramento


While rain in California is very welcome, it seems like much of it has fallen on the 40 acre US Cold Storage jobsite in Sacramento. Since the soil wasn’t draining quickly enough through the original sediment traps, the team resorted to creating a 400,000 gal water storage basin. Fisher mobilized on site in November, beginning work on the 210,000 sf cold storage. Chuck Roozekrans is heading up the work onsite, with Scott Guimond and Juan Ozuna managing the contracts, scheduling and material procurement.




FedEx Distribution Hub Takes Shape

Construction work is progressing on the 220,000 sq. ft. facility in south Burlington. Fisher Construction Group is the general contractor, building the facility for Jones Development from whom FedEx will lease. The ground distribution hub is being built on a greenfield site, zoned for industrial use in southeast Burlington between Whitmarsh and George Hopper. Handling the site preparation as well as facility construction, Fisher’s civil division began preloading the site in late November, preparing for construction which started in early spring. The facility is scheduled to be handling packages in November of 2015.

The pre-engineered steel building will handle the sorting and distribution of FedEx packaging north of Seattle. The building’s 84 roll-up doors allow for trucks to load and unload onto belt conveyors throughout the building. The new facility will have a 7,686 sf office for employees.