New Home for High Desert Glass Makes Headlines


You could catalogue this building project under the heading, “Where the hype meets the type” and then earmark it with a happy ending.
It seems that no one was more surprised that Dennis Ryan, owner and president of High Desert Glass & Décor in Redmond, when he picked up a copy of the local newspaper and read that his highly successful business would be sold and relocated under one of the plans for the revitalization of the city’s downtown core.
Jean Wood, vice president of MHi Real Estate Development, had shared her vision for the revitalization of downtown with the local newspaper that focused on the light industrial neighborhood just easy of Highway 97 on Evergreen Avenue where Ryan’s business had operated successfully for 18 years.
Wood has just as surprised as Ryan to read that the vision would necessitate the relocation of Parr Lumber, Tum-a-Lum Lumber and High Desert Glass & Décor and the story hinted to a somewhat urgency to the plan.
“I called Dennis immediately that morning and apologized and then apologized some more,” Wood said. “But the funny thing is, he said the story really got him to thinking that it might be a good time to move his business.”
Ryan was honestly interested in relocating to MHi Development’s 10-acre Campus Within the Park with his sights set on a corner lot along Umatilla Road.
A deal was struck for the triangle-shaped lot and today the commercial glass, home interior design center and showroom has a sparkling 12,000 square foot home where it showcases its services and products.
Gone are the days where delivery trucks had to back into the company’s antiquated warehouse at a busy downtown intersection, sometimes taking several hours to complete what should have been a 20-minute delivery.
Gone are the days when Ryan and his son Travis wasted time shifting through supplies that were strung across a cramped storage area looking for a metal frame needed to complete a storefront window project.
And gone are the days when commercial clients mingled side-by-side in a crowded design center ordering shower doors, mirrors or carpet and tile in a poorly lighted and cramped area.
The name of the game is now openness with an emphasis on efficiency as High Desert Glass & Décor has grown to a level of expertise and evolved from a mom and pop store into a highly professional décor showroom and warehouse serving all of Central Oregon.
“I had been thinking about a new building that would showcase all of our services and products for some time, and that story motivated me to take the leap,” Ryan said.
Ryan’s business essentially grew with the region after he purchased Smith Glass & Paint in 1988. He phased out the painting portion of the business and gradually added interior product lines while emphasizing the commercial glass division of the company.
“We still do about 60 percent of our business in commercial glass, curtain walls and glazing, but as neighborhoods have grown, we added or re-emphasized carpeting, tile, shower doors, window coverings and custom flooring.”
Interior consultant Anita Quinn works with clients on interior furnishings for the home while Dennis Ryan continues to do the bidding and estimates for commercial jobs and Travis Ryan oversees the warehouse operations as vice president.
The 12,000 square foot building ably constructed by Keeton-King Construction and designed by David Welsh of CIDA Inc., is a masonry structure with a joist roof and open beams highlighted by curtain walls of the company’s trademark glass that allows it to shine.
Mick Howard, the personable project manager for Keeton-King Construction, said the biggest challenge was fitting the building on the triangle-shaped lot for maximum efficiency and combing the construction elements of a showroom and warehouse under one roof while keeping the project at or under budget.
“David Welsh worked on dozen of preliminary sketches, and we ultimately decided to slope the roof with customers greeted by a strong presence of glass,” Ryan said. “I told David from the start that I didn’t want a boxed building.”
The building is narrow in the front and designed to add another 4,000 square feet in the future. The lot was re-plotted to meet the owner’s needs and budget and the decision to hire Keeton-King Construction was easy for Ryan following a long relationship as a subcontractor for the Sisters-based general contractor.
Once inside, customers are greeted by different styles of flooring that lead into the main showroom area. The large reception desk is enhanced with a granite countertop, and Anita Quinn’s office plus a private consulting room where she can work intimately with customers is nearby.
A clear glass stairwell that was redesigned to allow more natural lighting into the showroom and the exposed overhead support beams are quality touches that add to the elegance of the building.
Upstairs, commercial flooring displays share space with two large planning desks designed to easily roll out commercial blueprints allows Dennis Ryan to work on two or three projects at a time.
He has direct access from his second-level office to the warehouse where deliveries arrive daily and the four, 14-foot rollup doors emphasize efficiency. The company’s different divisions of products are categorized with residential glass and mirror on the west end, commercial fabrication in the center and carpeting at the east end.
Fourteen skylights overhead offer alternative lighting and the daily delivery trucks are easy to load now that High Desert Glass & Décor has an expanded work center and storage area.
“We now have a great-looking showroom for our customers and a warehouse and fabrication area that is easily accessible,” Ryan said. “It all comes down to efficiency and serving our customers with a great new location.
“We should have made the move five years ago, but I’m not really sure if I would have done it until that newspaper story ran.”


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