Sake Reindersma Architecture
- Written by: Kelly Matlock
- Produced by: Chuck McKenna
- Estimated reading time: 5 mins
Sake Reindersma, AIA, is an architect first and foremost, but he’s also a sharp businessman and a straight shooter. In founding his own practice, Sake Reindersma Architecture (SRA 360), in September 2008, Sake found a way to be himself as much as possible. Today, he works alongside his wife and business partner, Monique Reindersma, AIA.
SRA 360 is a boutique firm based in Scottsdale, Ariz., with a seven-state presence in the southwest and a satellite office in California. The firm is devoted to ensuring each client is able to realize individual design goals.
A strategic five-pronged approach
The goal of SRA 360 is to be the architect of choice for business leaders worldwide, and the company is well on its way. The firm strives to bring value to every project through service that offers clients a strategic business advantage. With a business mindset, Sake is the right guy for the job.
Sake has been in the industry for 31 years; he is experienced in the trade, having worked with several firms. Sake formed SRA 360 with intention to keep overhead low and move across markets. “I chose to create a firm that is lean and mean,” says Sake. “We execute using a five-pronged approach. We’re not doing any one thing, but five things well.” The company’s diversification ensures that SRA 360 is able to focus on thriving markets at any given time.
The five areas targeted by SRA 360 are forensic architecture, federal work, multifamily residential, commercial and industrial work. With solid relationships in the industry, SRA 360 was selected to complete all the land port of entries (LPEs)/border stations in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. With extensive experience designing for retail clients, SRA 360 has garnered plenty of work in the area of the commercial market. Notably, the company has recently completed designs for Michaels, Old Navy, Marshalls and OfficeMax.
Furthermore, the firm captures big and small projects alike; smaller project fill the voids between big projects and keep cash flow steady. Sake makes sure to balance size and volume of projects as he keeps tabs on what the firm is currently working on and what is lined up for the future.
Design service with a can-do attitude
SRA considers itself a service company. When Sake says he is available 24/7, he means it. “We are driven by how we can help our clients reach their goals,” he details. According to Sake, this means being ready when needed and also understanding unique needs.
Sake goes on to note that when proposing a partnership, SRA asks the clients multiple questions in order to focus in on who they are. “It’s all about forming relationships,” he explains of the firm and how it functions.
SRA 360’s process of partnering effectively includes a team approach that places the client at the center. Around that center is a matrix of communication, which involves every team member. Sake is proud to note that open channels of communication facilitate an environment of ease and understanding and is key to a project’s success.
In its third year, SRA 360 doubled its annual revenue and continues to grow today. With low overhead, the firm is able to deliver big projects with a smaller price tag than some other larger and less streamlined firms. SRA completes building design and project management and is adept at attaining approvals and permits.
Future work for SRA is forthcoming due to its completion of Brushfire Tacos y Tapas in Peoria, built out of shipping containers and recognized as one of the most innovative designs in 2013. A huge success, the design will be recreated for additional locations, and has brought in requests, from medical offices to a rifle range, for a similar design. “It’s a stunning design,” says Sake, who will be including the project in a presentation to AIA.
Additionally, repeat work comes to SRA from Dutch Bros. Coffee, a chain of drive-thru coffee stands throughout the West, of which SRA has already completed several locations. “It’s a great team,” notes Sake of the partnership. “It’s been very successful.” Furthermore, Sake says that he enjoys working with the owner of Dutch Bros. Coffee, a fellow native of the Netherlands, as Sake was born in Holland.
Likewise, SRA is partnering repeatedly with Salad and Go, a take-home salad concept with three locations in Gilbert, Ariz. Sake notes that he is able to easily relate to the founder’s drive and, therefore, is able to help him meet his business objectives.
Additionally, Maxim Integrated in San Jose, Calif., a lucrative 30-year-old technology enterprise, also hired SRA in order to realize its business goals. Maxim Integrated brought in SRA for an $8 million renovation of its Chandler Campus.
Luck is where preparation meets opportunity
SRA 360 has worked hard in order to position itself as capable of winning the projects that it does today. Sake also notes that SRA only makes calculated risks; using its resources wisely, it only bids on projects that are determined to be at least 75 percent attainable.
Whereas the first year at SRA was about survival, the next few years brought financial security along with bigger and more diverse projects. Furthermore, longstanding relationships have been developed with business owners and contractors alike who shuffle work to SRA time and again.
“We’re a very transparent organization,” says Sake, who is comfortable in his own shoes and able to say to clients, ‘This is who I am and here’s how I can help you.’
Sake knew before he hit high school what he wanted to be when he grew up: an architect. “When I was 12 years old I designed the addition to my family’s house,” he says with a smile. Sake was versed in drafting thanks to his schooling, which also included metal, electrical, wood and plastics classes. He is as driven today as he was then and logs 60- to 70-hour weeks.
In the end, Sake is happy if the client is happy and he enjoys the process. “I like taking care of problems and making things work for a client,” he says. He also understands that his firm’s role in a building project is one part of a larger puzzle. It’s this mindset of working as a team and honoring industry relationships that will serve Sake and Sake Reindersma Architecture for the years to come.
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