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AUSTIN-The Austin office of Redwood, City, CA-based DPR Construction Inc. is getting ready for the good times to return to the state capital as it rolls out two new divisions for Central Texas clients.

Daphne Faulkner has been named project manager for the special services group, which had been tested in the market last year. The DPR team also is heralding a tilt-wall specialty group, the second in the contractor’s bevy of offices in 16 US cities and Singapore. John Jaffe will lead the team, with Winston Beam acting as general superintendent.

DPR’s seven-year-old Austin office is simply getting ready for a surge in activity that is sure to return to the state capital, says Jaffe and Faulkner. In the past four years, the DPR Austin team has averaged $120 million annually in contracts with its 175-member administrative and field teams, often crossing in San Antonio and trekking to Houston for clients’ projects.

The two divisions will provide dedicated teams for the specialty work. Faulkner’s group totals 17 and Jaffe’s, close to 35. The divisions will be marketed hand-in-hand.

Faulkner tells GlobeSt.com that her group is focusing on the smaller projects and will offset the problem of losing business to other contractors who come in for tenant finish out at DPR-constructed buildings. “We saw our larger commercial clients needing construction services that were too small to be efficiently performed by our main group,” she explains. The team will concentrate on projects ranging from $2,000 to $2 million. The first DPR specialty services group started three years ago in California.

The Austin specialty services group unofficially tested the waters last year with 12 projects totaling $6 million. This year, she says she has 29 projects in the pipeline, most of which are in the Austin region. The team presently is working on a $500,000 project for Seton Healthcare Network’s Brackenridge Hospital along 12th Street.

Jaffe has to his team’s accreditation completed tilt-wall projects for WorldCom and Dell Computer. The projects’ success, mortared with what he sees as demand in the region, has resulted in DPR structuring a specialty tilt-wall group. “It made sense for us to develop a small core that could focus on that market,” he tells GlobeSt.com.

Warehouse and distribution projects will come naturally with the expansion of the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport as well as the ongoing development along the Interstate 35 corridor, professes Jaffe. The team also has its eyes on San Antonio, where the industrial market is prime development ground. In the past week, Jaffe and Beam have met with a client for a Houston project. DPR’s Houston office has a specialty services group, but not a tilt-wall division.

Jaffe’s team specializes in fast-track tilt-wall construction. He says the field crews have shaved months off delivery schedules with streamlined techniques while keeping budgets competitive. Beam, Austin’s general superintendent, started the Dallas office’s tilt-wall crew several years ago. “We will benefit from his expertise in this area,” Jaffe says.

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