Despite Challenging Economy, KKE Sees Opportunities for Growth

Even as difficult economic times continue, KKE Architects Inc. sees opportunities for growth. Although development has slowed down, the firm is busy with more than 15 million square feet of projects, including a proposed 2 million-square-foot mixed-use development, The Marketplace at El Paseo, which is set to break ground in El Paseo, Calif., in 2010. The firm is also working on a 3 million-square-foot expansion of the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn.Additionally, the firm has recently opened nearly 3 million square feet of projects, including the final phase of Jess Ranch Marketplace in Apple Valley, Calif., as well as an 110,000-square-foot new student center at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minn., and the new 170,000-square-foot Wright County Jail and Law Enforcement Center in Buffalo, Minn.In Hollywood, Calif., KKE completed renovations of the 62,000-square-foot Hollywood Palladium for Live Nation. And in Palm Springs, the firm acts as the project architect for Gene Autry Plaza, a 60,000-square-foot shopping center.And KKE Pasadena office has remained busy with projects in China as well as working with retailers in California such as TJX Cos., Smart & Final, and Fresh & Easy. The firm is working on a 100,000-square-foot mixed-use development that includes a luxury hotel and 30 for-sale residential units, a 40,000-square-foot retail infill project on Colorado Blvd., as well as a few other projects.And in late 2008, as reported by CPN, KKE completed three shopping centers located in Southern California on behalf of Hopkins Real Estate Group. KKE provided the conceptual and schematic designs, design development, city entitlements, construction drawings and construction administration on those projects. Brian Arial, director & managing principal with the firm’s West Coast operations believes that  strong companies will survive and even prosper over the next several years, as there is a potential return to good fundamentals of real estate development. “Celebrating 40 years of success, KKE has excelled during the highs and lows of the real estate cycles and has leveraged our experience and capabilities to create a comprehensive portfolio of projects spanning retail, housing, office, industrial, hospitality, entertainment, justice, education and healthcare design,” said Arial.