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AUSTIN-After 41 years, Staffelbach Design Associates of Dallas has decided to open a second office. The firm has leased space in the Littlefield Building in the Downtown for its push into Central Texas.

The firm’s executives will cut the ribbon Thursday on the 106 E. Sixth St. office. Jo Heinz, Staffelbach’s president and CEO, says Austin was a logical choice because its commercial real estate industry is growing and many of the firm’s Dallas clients already have offices in the capital city. “They keep asking us why we don’t have an office there,” she tells GlobeSt.com. “We’re in the business of re-branding a lot of real estate properties. So, we asked ourselves why not re-brand Staffelbach in Austin.”

Staffelbach’s Amber Carroll has relocated to Austin to become operations director of the new office and recruit employees from the local area. Heinz estimates the Austin office will have 10 to 15 employees by the end of 2008. There are 75 interior designers, architects, space planners and support personnel in the Dallas office.

Selecting the CBD as an office location was an easy decision to make. “It has proximity to our clients, it’s a central location and it has adjacent hotels,” Heinz says.

Staffelbach’s commitment to green developments will fit in well with the Austin culture too. The firm’s managers have been encouraged to become LEED accredited. Heinz explains one of the first programming questions for new clients is how Staffelbach can help them to become more environmentally friendly. “We know they think going green will automatically cost more, but we’re trying to provide many ways in which they can move toward that endeavor without having to pay a lot,” Heinz says.

Heinz says there is no plan to add additional offices, with both coasts within reach of the Dallas and Austin locations. “Travel and technology make it easy to be based in Texas and to travel elsewhere,” she adds.

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