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R&R’s design studio provides a vision of new office space


Dr. Joseph Solinger has received plenty of training in cosmetic dentistry, but nobody ever taught him how to design an office. So when he was ready to go into practice for himself, Solinger was only too happy to get help with layout, furniture and color schemes from his new landlord.

In July, he’ll open his office at 1225 Jordan Creek Parkway, West Des Moines, in a building that’s owned by R&R Realty and since last winter has been the home of a design studio operated by Realty Marketing Group, an R&R subsidiary. Solinger has met with various construction and decorating vendors in that studio over the past couple of months, hearing from professionals and studying his choices at no charge.

“None of the other places where I’d looked had anything similar,” Solinger said. “It seemed like a no-brainer.”

Mark Rupprecht, president of Realty Marketing Group, said he thinks it’s a new concept in the commercial real estate business, although residential builders have been doing something similar.

“We were only doing part of the process for our customers,” Rupprecht said. “We were doing the physical design and the build-out, but we weren’t providing help on color selection, telephones, security and so on.

“We thought this would be a way for people to save time and maybe a little bit of money, and we want them to be happy with the end product by getting a more professionally designed result.”

R&R has lined up several other companies to participate in planning sessions with clients. Workspace Inc. and Pigott Inc. have set up displays of workstations in the design studio to provide examples of different furniture styles and configurations.

Other local companies, including The Growing Concern, Olsen-Larsen Galleries, ICI Paints and Baker Electric, cover a wide range of concerns for people moving into new offices. Each bids on its piece of the project; the customer can also seek bids from companies that aren’t on Realty Marketing Group’s list of partners.

Representatives of a company moving into an R&R space can begin by looking at two-dimensional and three-dimensional layouts. These designs are created with computer software and can be quickly altered if the customer wants to see a different option.

Color and surface materials also can be added to the computer-generated drawings and switched quickly to help the clients visualize the end product.

“We have a lot of customers who are new at this,” Rupprecht said. “Local companies don’t move a lot, and if it’s a large, national company that has its own design services, they still like having someone local to consult with about vendors and service people.”

Solinger said the process has been smooth so far. “I’ve been in there a half dozen times, and once construction is under way, we’ll have a weekly meeting,” he said. A designer narrowed down his furniture options and made the decision to reupholster his final choice to match the rest of the décor. “She took the color scheme and ran with it,” said Solinger, who knew he wanted a place that felt more like a spa than a dentist’s office.

“I’ve never started a business before,” Solinger said. “You don’t know when you’re supposed to do what. They made a complex project a lot simpler.”

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