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Pacific Cornerstone Architects: Sized for success

Despite the slowed economy and fierce competition within the design field, one local San Diego architectural firm has proved the merits of staying nominally sized and fully focused on client satisfaction.

Pacific Cornerstone Architects, which employs 15 people at its company-owned Sorrento Valley headquarters building, has kept exceptionally busy performing numerous large-scale San Diego projects while embarking on several new ventures in New Mexico, Northern California and Indiana.

While many larger architectural firms have faced layoffs, Pacific Cornerstone Architects has held steady, expanding its client base while maintaining the personalized service and hands-on principal involvement that comes with being relatively small.

Pacific Cornerstone Architect co-founder and principal Sean Tracy wouldn't have it any other way.

"While we are in a position to grow larger, our firm's core belief is that quality, rather than quantity, better serves our clients and our practice."

As a full-service architectural firm, Pacific Cornerstone Architects strives to provide designs that meet the client's aesthetic requirements while maximizing functionality and cost-effectiveness.

"We've been a design-assist firm from day one," said principal and co-founder Tim Schulze, AIA. "It's the way the industry is heading. It allows for increased flexibility and creativity, since we are involved in nearly all facets of the design and development process."

Pacific Cornerstone Architects has developed a reputation as an industry leader in large master-planned corporate campuses and high-tech research facilities. The firm's current client list reads like a who's who in the fields of biotech and pharmaceutical research.

The firm recently was awarded a second new contract by military aircraft and precision weapons manufacturer Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC) to design its new approximately 46,900-square-foot Broad Area Military Surveillance System Integration Lab. Recently the firm completed design work on the new Northropp Grumman Pole Model Tower and Test Center, which tests advanced avionics while simulating a jet fighter's in-flight conditions such as attack angle and pitch.

"Designing research and testing facilities can be difficult, but it is something that we are very good at," said Principal Kevin Perry, AIA. "We have numerous repeat clients, which can be attributed to the fact that we keep them involved in all phases of the project process."

Perhaps one of the firm's most marketable talents is its ability to fast-track the project entitlement process -- a skill that has not gone unnoticed by Steve Scott, senior vice president of Kilroy Realty Corp., a leading commercial real estate developer in Southern California.

"The principals and the entire team were fantastic," said Scott, who was responsible for brokering the lease transaction for the $28 million Cardinal Health facility. "We have had the opportunity to work with the best firms in Southern California, and Pacific Cornerstone Architects has consistently proven to be an invaluable asset in obtaining entitlements as quickly as possible."

For Cardinal Health, Pacific Cornerstone Architects was tasked with blending a three-story, 318,000-square-foot office building and manufacturing facility with an existing 93,000-square-foot office building. The scope of work also included the design of an adjacent 92,658-square-foot, two-level parking garage. Strict time constraints were a challenge that Pacific Cornerstone Architects and its other project team members managed fluidly.

With a long list of past and present professional accomplishments, Pacific Cornerstone Architects is now poised to tackle projects of unprecedented size and scope.

"I think we have the capabilities and resources to handle just about any type of project that comes our way," Schultz said. "At the end of the day, what really matters is that we generate quality design and maintain client trust."

More information about the company can be found online at paccornerstone.com.

Submitted by Pacific Cornerstone Architects

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