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AUSTIN-Cawley International, a Dallas-based real estate company, is opening an office in Austin despite the community’s current economic woes. While acknowledging the weakness of Austin’s tech sector, J. Reagan Dixon, vice chairman of Cawley Wilcox Cos., says coming to the Capital City is based on the long-term view.

“Austin is such a vibrant community and there are many strong firms in Austin that are not technology firms,” Dixon, who joined Cawley in February, tells GlobeSt.com. “So I think there’s a lot of opportunity to provide services to clients other than tech firms as well as the surviving tech firms.”

To lead the Austin launch, Cawley has hired Michael Stone, who has had experience at Colliers Oxford and a now-defunct tech company. He had been a director and general manager for StorageProvider Inc., which offered storage, data backup and recovery services to companies.

One of StorageProvider’s founders is Reagan Dixon, son of Cawley’s J. Reagan Dixon. “We just kept in touch and thought it was a natural transition,” Stone tells GlobeSt.com. He says he is attracted to Cawley because of its solid business model of being a full-service firm. “They value service and have the services in place,” he says. “So from cradle to grave, they can handle transactions for organizations that are in growth mode, enterprise level, Fortune 500, it doesn’t matter, they can handle transactions from start to finish.”

Stone says he’s already working with a national account, which he is declining to identify at this stage. “Otherwise, I’m in customer acquisition mode,” he says. An office location has yet to be picked as well as the rest of the team members.

Dixon, the Cawley executive, looks for the economy to come back by early next year and to ramp up quickly when it does. “As our economy strengthens, which I think it will, probably more so going into the year 2002, there’ll be growth company opportunities,” he says. “A lot of them could be tech, but a lot of other companies as well.

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