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PHOENIX-Butler Design Group of Phoenix has launched a new custom residential design division while other local construction firms and real estate-related firms have added new staff.

Scott Giesen of Giesen Architects will oversee the team. The new division’s approach to home design is simple, he explains. “We learn about our client’s design and cost objectives and set out to create a unique home,” he says. “Residential design is an incredibly personal endeavor so we’ve learned to listen and use our skills to bring the client’s concepts to life.”

Giesen’s recent residential projects include Troon North, an exclusive master-planned golf community in north Scottsdale. Currently under construction are Giesen’s designs for a 6,000-sf, organic pueblo-style home with exposed tile and adobe accents and a two-story Tuscan-style home with stone accents sited to take advantage of views of the city and mountains.

While the general residential market in Greater Phoenix will probably break another record for new homes of all types built in 2001, the market is expected to level out over the next few years as the economy slows, Butler explains. The high-end custom home market is considered somewhat recession-proof because owners are affluent and traditional financing is not usually an issue, Richard Butler, principal in the design group, says.

In other personnel changes, W.E. O’Neil Construction, a Phoenix-based general contractor, has hired Allan Shaw as a project superintendent. Jokake Construction Co., a Phoenix-based general contractor, has named Jeff Plowman as a senior superintendent; Michael Thompson, assistant superintendent; and Stacey Schultz, business development. Also, the Southeast Valley Regional Association of Realtors has appointed Robert C. Kline, president of ReMax 2000, as its director. UA Local Union 469, a trade union for plumbing, pipefitting, refrigeration and steam-fitting professionals, has elected Donald Price, Mark Butler and Phil McNally, as business agents.

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