The Firm

About The Firm

Core Design, Inc. is a privately owned team of professionals specializing in Planning, Landscape Architecture and Urban Design, Civil Engineering, Surveying and Construction Management services for commercial, residential, and public land development projects. Core Design has practiced for nearly seventy years in the greater Seattle area. With locations in Bothell and Fircrest, the company can serve clients and projects across Washington State and surrounding areas.

Most recently, Core Design has also established a presence within the land development community of Austin, Texas.  

The firm remains focused on valued relationships with clients, jurisdictions, and industry partners. If you have a project in mind of any scale, the professionals of Core Design are interested in learning how they can help your vision become reality. 

Some of the company's milestones include:

1954 - The Beginning

John B. Dodds, a University of Washington graduate with a degree in Civil Engineering, set out to start an independent consultant service. He began by renting an office in the Homemakers Center on the NW corner of 8th and 104th (now Bellevue Way). His wife, Mary Dodds, worked as the bookkeeper and office assistant. John Dodds was the only licensed civil engineer/land surveyor on the Eastside for many years.

Late 1950s TO Early 1960s - Getting Started

John Dodds served as the City Engineer for Bellevue, Medina, and Redmond. His primary duty was to approve and stamp drawings for plats and road designs. He also played a key role in the City of Bellevue’s sewer implementation.

1973 - Business Growing

John Dodds opened a new office in Bellevue off of 130th Street. At that time, he had half a dozen employees, two of whom were his sons Bruce J. Dodds, PE, PLS, and Douglas J. Dodds, PLS.

1974 - It’s Official

In February 1974, Dodds Engineers incorporated.

1979 - Moving On

It was time for John Dodds to retire, leaving the company in his son, Bruce Dodd’s hands.

1983 - Getting Bigger Yet

Dodds Engineers built their own office building off of 148th Avenue in Bellevue.

1997 - Under New Management

Bruce Dodds left Dodds Engineers, passing the torch to his five business partners. Edgar T. Jones, who had started with the company in 1984, acted as the Managing Principal.

2000 - Core is Born

On February 14th, the company changed its name and officially became Core Design, Inc. In August of the same year, Core moved into a larger office building nearby.

2003 - Changing of the Guard

Kevin J. Vanderzanden, P.L.S. succeeded in the position of Managing Principal. Edgar  Jones continued as an acting partner for the next four years.

2007- Moving On

On December 31st, Edgar  Jones retired from Core Design, Inc.

2018 - The Next Chapter

Partners Lafe B. Hermansen and Glenn R. Sprague, P.L.S. stepped into the leadership roles of Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer as Kevin Vanderzanden retired. The same year, the company relocated from Bellevue to Bothell to serve clients' changing needs. 


Community Land Planning, an established land use planning firm founded by Craig Krueger, joined Core Design to expand our expertise in neighborhood design. 


Glen Duringer and Eric Clarke, founders of REO Consultants, join Core Design to bring Construction and Development Management to the services available to our clients.