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In the News

August 05, 2015

Success on the Cutting Edge of the Commercial Glass Industry

Thurston County EDC

"We operate at the bleeding edge of new technologies," shares Jeff Nickel proudly. "We have a lot of automation and measuring equipment in our shop. When other firms may see no need to change, we wrap ourselves around it. It's what we do."

This progressive, fearless attitude is one of the things that has helped propel Jeff and Jamie Nickel's company, Mission Glass, to great success. In the last three years they have grown from an 8,000-square-foot space, to their soon to open 75,000-square-foot building - the previous Harbor Wholesale building on Center Street in Tumwater. The location is on Port property, adjacent to the southeast portion of the airport, at 1019 85th Ave. SE in Tumwater.

Terry Wilson of Kidder Mathews, the broker who assisted Jeff in finding his last two locations, speaks to their potential. "They have grown into a strong regional presence in the commercial glass industry," he shares.

Mission Glass' projects dot the Northwest, including Westlake 202 in the South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle, Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, Alki Condos in West Seattle, and the JBLM Readiness Center near Lakewood. Soon you'll see their work at the new Center for Business and Innovation, on the SPSCC Campus in Lacey. Upcoming projects range from schools to the SR-99 Tunnel to the Sammamish Aquatic Center.

Priding themselves on their craftsmanship, Mission Glass is a union employer. With 30 employees, they offer a complete range of commercial architectural glass facade systems including: storefronts, curtain walls, glass entrances and a wide variety of custom products. Roughly two-thirds of the employees focus on installations in the field, six work in the shop pre-fabricating the windows, and the balance are in the office.

Commitment to Relationships

"Our driving fundamental value in any project is to put the relationships we form with other members of the project team above all else," says Jeff. "We realize these relationships are the key factor in successfully completing any project, as well as providing a foundation for collaboration in future endeavors."

Mission Glass was founded in the spring of 2007, a good time to begin a company during the strong economy. When the recession hit, they still had low overhead as a start-up business and could more easily be competitive. Mission Glass was able to grow during a time that was difficult for many companies to keep their doors open.

Mission found themselves doing bigger and bigger projects as contractors learned they could count on them. "We see a lot of reoccurring business. The general contractors we work with have high expectations related to everything from submittals and shop drawings, to safety, installation and deadlines," says Jeff.

An Innovative Approach to Project Delivery

"With the construction industry rapidly moving toward digital media in all aspects of the delivery process, we pride ourselves on being at the front of this change," said Jeff. "We have seamlessly integrated digital media into all of our deliverables - from submittals to 3-Dimensional models - to help coordinate issues and provide a clear understanding of our installations."

On the Horizon

Part of the desire for a larger space was to pursue new market opportunities. "We are working to break into the unitized window market up in Seattle," said Jeff. "It requires a lot of storage space, as completed panels are stored until needed and then go in very quickly." Right now, the primary vendors serving the Seattle market for unitized windows are from the Midwest and further east.

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