(POULSBO, WA) September 21, 1997 -- The Sun Newspaper
September 21, 1997
By Ray Miller, Sun Staff
HE DOES IT HIS WAY
Tim Ryan has built one of the region’s most successful construction firms by selling old-time values – honesty and integrity.
Tim Ryan never won a formal declaration of surrender from Poulsbo. He has came close.
In 1984, the city council and mayor proclaimed “Tim Ryan Day” and honored him for his “perseverance and gentlemanly, gregarious personality.”
What they were doing was tacitly admitting that the stubborn, dynamic developer had finally won a complicated, five-year struggle to get a 30-acre golf course rezoned to permit commercial development.
Today, that property alongside Highway 305 in Poulsbo is the site of the Poulsbo Village Shopping and Medical/Dental centers, providing North Kitsap with more than 250,000 square-feet of business and professional space.
His firm, Tim Ryan Properties, LLC retains ownership of 228,000 square-feet of the village, housing 63 of the 70 tenants in the development.
It is the largest single commercial development in North Kitsap and is considered the economic hub of Poulsbo.
Ryan and his company have left their signature on a number of high-profile West Sound buildings.
Just a few months ago, the company put the finishing touches on the 27,000 square-foot Land Title Co. office building in Silverdale; two years ago it completed the North Sound Bank Financial Center, a 32,000 square-foot glass and brick professional building on Highway 305 (not far from Poulsbo Village) that serves as the regional bank’s headquarters and main branch.
Over the years, the company erected the Poulsbo Village Medical/Dental Center and contributed demolition and elevator installation work at the Admiral Theatre and the Kitsap County Historical Society building in Bremerton.
“Tim started out doing insurance work and anything he could find” recalls son Dan, President of the construction company. “Then he got into development for himself . . . we’ve been chasing the bigger jobs since 1990 and 91’. The last five years, we’ve pushed into more development.”
Ryan believes his experience in building, owning and leasing commercial and retail space provides his firm exceptional insight into the needs of commercial tenants, and the knowledge needed to design and construct quality commercial space economically.
“The key to being successful in this business is knowing what it costs to build, and knowing what to build to meet the goals of the client,” Ryan said. “Because we own a lot of our own property, and have to maintain it and assure it meets the needs of tenants, we know where and how to target construction dollars.”
Ryan’s goal of building a high-quality product at the least expense has caught the attention of builders and developers throughout the region. If his firm is not being called upon to build a project, it is being called in as a consultant to perform cost estimates.
Ryan began his career in construction in the early 1950’s after graduating with a degree in finance from Seattle University and a stint in the military.
That year began a long, slow process that began with doing one-person home remodeling jobs.
Ryan moved his family from Seattle’s East side to Kingston in 1972, leading to his construction of Poulsbo Village, which established his firm in the region’s development world.
“We had a summer place in Kingston for years, and we were always moving back and forth. One year my wife asked why we didn’t just stay over here. I always felt the Poulsbo area would be a good family town with good opportunities, “ he said.
Today, Ryan is the CEO of Tim Ryan Construction, Inc., and is turning more and more of the business over to his children. Son, Dan Ryan is the President and son Kevin is the Vice-President. His daughter; Colleen Crabtree, it the treasurer.
Dan and Kevin have degrees in construction management from Washington State University and have apprenticed with one of the nation’s largest construction companies.
Ryan is happy with their leadership, noting that since the firm incorporated in 1993, it has been doing from $3 million to $4 million in projects each year.
“It has never been our plan to get bigger just for the sake of being big. We’re more interested in quality,” he said.
The three children who work with Ryan in his construction business are among eight total. Ryan and his wife now have 25 grandchildren, all living in Kitsap County.
You sense that, at 64, he is ready to slack off a bit to enjoy them. But not too much. He’s still a hands-on guy, who believes in being on-site. “You don’t make it sitting behind a computer,” he says.
He finds reasons why something can work instead of why not.
When people talk about Poulsbo contractor Tim Ryan, words and phrases like “quality individual” and “a man of Integrity” tend to pass their lips.
Ryan, who is know throughout Kitsap County for construction and development, is also singled out for community involvement, his commitment to philanthropic causes and his large family.
“Not only do they (the Ryan family) have a phenomenal integrity in their personal lives, but tim has tremendous carry-through with his work and in the community, “ said Tim Arnold, CEO of Bradley Scott Inc., a Bremerton real estate brokerage firm. “He adds value consistently back to the community.”
Arnold has known Ryan for years and watched his “commitment of time and energy” pay off in projects like the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in downtown Bremerton; the Admiral Theatre Foundation; the Economic Development Council of Kitsap County; the Poulsbo Chamber and many other organizations.
“He doesn’t just participate, he’s a leader,” Arnold added. “Go to a land-use meeting, and there’s Tim Ryan; his properties may not be affected, but he’s there anyway looking for knowledge and information.”
Ryan’s son Dan, who is President of the firm that bears his father’s name, couldn’t agree more!
“He’s hands on,” he says, “(but) honestly it is the quality you remember. You talk with anyone who’s had any dealings with him, they’ll tell you that if he says it’s so, it will happen.
“He never gives up. There’s always a way. He finds reasons why something can work instead of why not.”
Arnold says Ryan’s commitment to his family and community “goes way beyond his commitment” to his business.
“He’s a real credit to the area,” Arnold adds. “You see the quality of what they talk about and how they view their tenants. They feel responsible for what’s in their center(s).
“It goes beyond ‘I just have an investment out there and all I care about is my return.’ “he says. “They’re the kind of people you’re thankful to know. They add value to your life.”
-Kevin Dwyer, the Sun
Tim Ryan Construction, Inc. He also operates Tim Ryan Properties, LLC, a holding company for his property interests; S&R Construction, a residential construction firm he has a 40 percent stake in. Tim Ryan Enterprises, property management for Pousbo Village Shopping Center.
Founder/CEO: Tim Ryan
Annual Sales: $3 to $4 million
Employees: 9 to 10 full-time workers
Lay of the Land: Tim Ryan, a land developer and contractor who developed the Poulsbo Village Shopping center, enjoys a late afternoon in the front yard of this house at Seabeck.
By Jun Y. Hyun