In Tucson, KKE acquired Gresham & Beach Architects Inc.which will be called KKE Gresham & Beach. Meanwhile, KKE joinedforces with independent architect George Sheller with ShellerArchitecture Inc. of Tempe, AZ. KKE also hired Ken Lufkin and NaderKavakeb from Phoenix-based Jacobs Carter Burgess to fill out themetro Phoenix office.

Tom Gerster, KKE's president and Chief Operating Officer saysthe Arizona offices are the final part of a three-pronged,five-year strategic plan that targeted three southwest areas. KKEoffices are already up and running in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.Gerster says the Phoenix area, and Tucson to the south, representan ideal area for the company's growth because of the high growthfactor, strong fundamentals and continued population growth.

In addition, "the Tucson acquisition brings continueddiversification to our practice by adding a health-care component,"Gerster tells "We feel we can leverage some of ourother networking and contacts with the health care base to expandinto the Phoenix market and other areas of the southwest." At thistime, there are no plans to open more offices in either city.

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