Spokane Journal of Business

Daines buys building for his start-ups

Facility to be tripled in size to house Webiness, initially World Wide Packets, too

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Bernard Daines, founder of Webiness Inc. and World Wide Packets Inc., has bought a 10,000-square-foot building in Liberty Lake and plans to triple its size to accommodate, at least for now, both of those high-tech, Spokane start-ups.

Eventually, however, World Wide Packets alone will need upwards of 200,000 square feet of space, with half of that devoted to manufacturing, Daines says.

Within the next month, a 20,000-square-foot addition will be built onto the building Daines bought, which is located at the northwest corner of Mission Avenue and Molter Road, giving it 30,000 square feet of space. Daines says he bought the building for $2 million and expects to spend another $2 million to expand it.

He anticipates that the building will be the permanent headquarters of Webiness, which develops web sites and web applications for businesses and handles web-site hosting. Webiness, which was started about nine months ago with four people, now employs nearly 30.

World Wide Packets, which is developing and plans to manufacture soon gigabit networking equipment, also could occupy space in the expanded building. Daines says, however, that the expected rapid growth of both companies wont allow them to share space for long.

World Wide Packets, which currently employs about 20 people, eventually will need about 100,000 square feet of manufacturing space and another 100,000 square feet of office space, and thus will have to look for its own facility, Daines says. He says he already is searching in the Spokane area for a site for World Wide Packets, which expects to begin manufacturing its networking equipment by the end of this year or early next year. He declines to disclose which sites he is eyeing.

Webiness new facility in Liberty Lake, which had been owned by Sigma Partners LLC, a partnership that included Northern Technologies Inc. President Stephen Baker, is a two-story structure that was completed about four months ago, and initially was built as a speculative medical office building. Dentist C. Ross Simonds, of Liberty Lake Dental Care, currently is leasing a portion of the buildings second floor, Baker says. He says that Simonds, who has signed a 10-year lease agreement, will remain there for now.

Tenant improvements, which are expected to cost about $250,000, currently are under way throughout the remainder of the building, and Webiness employees are expected to begin moving into it by the end of next month from the office space they currently occupy at 12720 E. Nora in the Spokane Valley.

The addition, which will be added onto the structures west side, will include a basement and three above-grade floors of office space. Daines says that the basement will be used as a secured data center for Webiness web-hosting service.

Webiness recently hired three web developers from Northwest Advantage, of Spokane, including one of that companys three owners, Phil Edminster. Edminster, who has retained his partial ownership stake in Northwest Advantage, has joined Webiness as its technical services director. He says Webiness has been able to expand its client base into several different industries because he and the other former Northwest Advantage web developers have retained their relationships with former Northwest Advantage customers, including Wendle Motors Inc., Tomlinson Black Group of Cos., and Pro Industries Corp. He says that Northwest Advantage developed the web sites for each of those customers and is upgrading them continually.

Bernardo-Wills Architects PC, of Spokane, is designing the addition to the Liberty Lake office building for Webiness and World Wide Packets. Daines says he expects to select a general contractor for the addition soon.

  • Lisa Harrell

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