Engineering/architecture firm moves to downtown Red Wing locationEver since engineering, land surveying and architecture firm Widseth Smith Nolting merged with Red Wing’s QED Engineering in 2008, executives have been eyeing a downtown Red Wing location.
By: Sarah Gorvin, The Republican Eagle
Ever since engineering, land surveying and architecture firm Widseth Smith Nolting merged with Red Wing’s QED Engineering in 2008, executives have been eyeing a downtown Red Wing location.
And that’s exactly what they got earlier this month when WSN moved into the historic Armory Buidling at 217 Plum St.
“We like downtown,” President Tim Moe said. “We liked this location.”
The move is part of WSN’s blueprint to expand its Red Wing branch. Previously housed in the Pottery Place Annex on Old West Main Street, the firm said the new Plum Street location will provide more visibility and better access.
WSN has branches in cities across Minnesota, including Alexandria, Bemidji, Brainerd, Crookston and Rochester, as well as in Grand Forks, N.D. Some of the main clients are cities and counties across Minnesota, and firm members say they’ve worked in about 80 percent of the counties in Minnesota. However, they try to focus on rural areas and stay out of the state’s largest cities.
“That’s our culture,” Executive Vice President Kevin Wernberg said. “Rural communities.”
“We’re not a metro type of office,” Moe agreed.
Currently, WSN offers architecture, civil, mechanical, electrical and structural engineering, land surveying, landscape architecture, environmental and the newly added transportation services.
“We’re striving to do full services,” architect and Vice President Paul Richards said.
And even though each office is not staffed to provide every service the firm offers, Vice President Neil Britton said it’s easy to get those services from other branches should a client need them.
“It’s nice for our clients,” Britton said. “The service is like it’s out of that office.”
Currently, Richards and one other architect will be working out of the Red Wing office, though the firm plans to have about 10 or 12 employees in the Plum Street office.
With the recent slow economy, Richards said business has been down for the last few months. Still, he said that many cities and counties have work that needs to be done, but that tight budgets haven’t allowed them to move forward.
However, the firm has seen the economy begin to pick up and has begun talking to potential clients.
“We see this as a good opportunity to grow,” Richards said.
What’s more, Richards doesn’t see the growth stopping any time soon.
“I see in five years, we would have this office full, and we’d be looking for a bigger office,” Richards said.