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DALLAS-Collins/Reisenbichler Architects of Dallas has merged with the Texas office of Chicago-based Perkins & Will, which has set up similar partnerships in Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis and Atlanta. The new masthead is Perkins & Will/CRA, Dallas-based and Houston-bound for an expansion.

Tom Reisenbichler will lead the office as managing principal. Perkins & Will’s Dallas leader, Doug Demers, is a principal and will oversee the year-long integration along with CRA’s David Collins, now a Perkins & Will/CRA principal. Steve Milner from the CRA team also takes a principal’s slot as does Wayne Cage of Perkins & Will. Associate principal titles were accorded to Phil Callison, Paul Donaldson and Randy Hood, all from the 72-member CRA staff, and Rick Polvino of the Perkins & Will 13-employee team.

With the titles in place, the plan is to debut the nation’s largest architectural practice focusing on health-care and education. CRA is ranked 31 out of 200 nationally for its health-care practice; Perkins & Will leads the pack. The combined firm’s client roster reads like a “who’s who” of the health-care, educational and real estate industries.

Reisenbichler tells GlobeSt.com that it will be about 18 months before the dust settles on the merger. He wasn’t looking to wed anyone and turned down other suitors in CRA’s 14-year history. But, the Perkins & Will network is tailor-made for the CRA client roster that goes from coast to coast. Both firms’ end goal is to expand and increase market share.

Now that the knot’s tied, the execs are busy fine-tuning plans for the combined practice.For the time being, both offices stay open. Some divisions will be shuffled to enhance project flow. CRA owns the 20,000-sf 6200 N. Central Expressway while Perkins & Will leases 10,371 sf at Harwood International Center IV.

Reisenbichler also is in the midst of negotiating with three building owners in Houston. He will be setting up an office before year’s end, with a start-up staff of 10. But, he’s talking for enough space to accommodate 40. Dallas is getting 10 to 12 more employees for its roster. Austin clients will be served from the Dallas office.

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