Firm Turns 45, Aims to Lead Industry

Nearly half a century of operations is nothing to take lightly in any industry. In architecture and engineering – bedrock of the constantly waxing and waning construction industry – that kind of staying power is especially impressive.
Crafton Tull Sparks marked 45 years of business this month, and, according to Senior Vice President W. Charles Mitchell, PE, LEED, AP, the regional company doesn’t plan to stop the constant growth it has experienced since its inception.
“We are a growth-oriented firm. National expansion is definitely on our radar for the future,” Mitchell said. “We plan to be around for a while and to act as industry leaders along the way.”
Becoming an industry leader – especially in such a competitive industry – seems a lofty goal, and is. That is not to say, however, that it isn’t within reason.
Lem Tull and Bob Crafton founded Crafton, Tull and Associates Inc. in November of 1963, working out of two hotel rooms in Rogers, Ark. The company merged with Gary Sparks’ firm in 2006, and now has offices in seven cities – Conway, Little Rock, Rogers, and Russellville, Ark., Wichita, Kan., Oklahoma City and Tulsa – and employs 335.
South Central Construction magazine recently ranked the firm 14th on its Top 80 Designers List, and the Zweig Letter placed Crafton Tull Sparks 45th on its 2008 Hot Firm List, lauding it as on of the 200 fastest-growing architecture, engineering, planning, and environmental firms in the United States or Canada.
Part of the company’s longevity has been a result of staying on top of trends, Mitchell said. He pointed to the recent upswing of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design projects as an example.
“With energy and the environment being of concern right now, we’re pushing that aspect big time,” Mitchell said. “We have 43 LEED accredited people working for us, which is more than any other architecture and engineering firm in Oklahoma or Arkansas. Sustainability, sight design and green building make up kind of the new wave of the industry, and we want to be right on the crest of that.”
And Crafton Tull Sparks is not just talk. The firm is involved in a long list of LEED projects, including the Baylor University Sports Complex, construction of which began in June. The firm also offers employees incentives for completing LEED accreditation. The company kicked off “Take the LEED: Get Smart with Crafton Tull Sparks” program on Earth Day, and employees that passed the LEED accreditation test administered by the U.S. Green Building Council were eligible to win a 2008 Smart Car, compliments of Crafton Tull Sparks.
Aside from being on top of marketplace trends, Mitchell said, Crafton Tull Sparks owes part of its success to the diversity of services it offers.
“We are a full service design firm,” Mitchell said. “We are architects, engineers, landscape architects, interior designers, surveyors, construction administrators, and we offer construction observation and land planning.
“It’s definitely an added bonus for the client and for us too, because that way we can control everything. One of the things that I think sets us apart is that we are kind of a one-stop shop.”
Whatever Crafton Tull Sparks is doing right seems to be paying off; the firm was heavily involved with the Tulsa Tech Health Sciences Center and has been contracted in a full design capacity on the Tulsa Tech Owasso Campus and OSU west end zone expansion in Stillwater.
While much of the construction industry cringe at the coming months, or even years, of impending economic recession, Mitchell doesn’t seem bothered.
“I think we’re going to see a slowdown because of the economy, even though Oklahoma is kind of sheltered in a way,” Mitchell said. “But America is an innovative, progressive growth country. People are always going to build or expand. There’s always going to be a market there, and I see us being around another 45 years.”
Nathan Koob passed the professional registration tests under the auspices of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. NCARB is the national agency that Oklahoma and other states use to administer tests that qualify individuals to be licensed by the state.
Leslee Stewart earned the designation Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) from International Association of Business Communicators. IABC’s professional credential program recognizes communicators who have reached a globally accepted standard of knowledge and proficiency. Leslee passed a series of written and verbal exams.
Leta Warren and Susan White with Patterson, Realtors received the Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designation by the Seniors Real Estate Specialist Council of the National Association of Realtors.
More than 16,000 real estate professionals in North America have earned this designation. All are required to complete a comprehensive course in understanding the needs, considerations and goals of the buyers and sellers who are 55 and older.
SRES was founded in 2007 as the world’s largest association of real estate professionals focusing specifically on representing senior clients in real estate transaction.
Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology and Nabholz Construction celebrate the placement of the last piece of structural steel, accompanied by an American flag, an OSU flag and an evergreen tree on top of the $5.2 million, 23,000-SF Rural Health Science Center in a “topping out” ceremony.
The symbolic event marks the successful completion of the steelwork with no worker death or injury.
Tulsa-based Nabholz Construction is the contractor and John Sanford is the architect.
The facility is set to open in July.
Coury Properties, a division of the Coury Group, welcomes commercial real estate agent Lisa Brandes to its commercial leasing and property management team.
With 16 years of industry experience, Brandes has managed portfolios of more than 1.5 million SF, including high-rise office buildings, shopping centers, industrial parks and management facility accounts. She also brings expertise in financial reporting, construction management and leasing.
Brandes joins Coury Properties from CB Richard Ellis, where she represented clients such as Trammell Crow Co., Grubb & Ellis, Thackeray Partners, Dollar Thrifty Auto Group, UPS Corporate Services, Warren Professional Building Corporation, Property Company of America and The Landhuis Cos.
Brandes serves on the board of the Tulsa Building Owners and Managers Association, and is a member of the National Association for Industrial & Office Properties. She also holds a Real Property Administrator designation.
The Coury brand has grown from a small two-person company to a multi-million organization that houses more than 100 employees. The Coury Group’s flagship properties are the Hotel Ambassador in downtown Tulsa and the newly re-christened Colcord Hotel located in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City. The collection also boasts The Tudors in the historic Maple Ridge neighborhood and The Grottos at Grand Lake.
Kinslow, Keith & Todd Inc., a professional design firm providing architectural, interior design and engineering services, recently added to its architectural and interiors staff.
Kristin Gurley, architect intern, has experience with a variety of architectural projects including military, commercial, museums, schools, medical facilities and residential projects. Gurley received her Bachelor of Architecture degree from OSU.
Liz Rohrbacker, interior designer, has experience with a variety of architectural projects including commercial, residential and educational projects. Rohrbacker is a graduate of OSU, with a Bachelor of Science in Design, Housing and Merchandising.
Tiffany Culver, structural engineer intern, has experience in all phases of design and construction providing structural engineering services for retail, offices, religious and educational facilities. Culver is a graduate of OSU, with a Bachelor’s degree in Architectural Engineering.
Don Gee, structural engineering designer, has experience providing structural layouts and developing engineering drawings on a variety of projects. Gee is experienced with working on multiple CAD systems and is a graduate of OSU/Okmulgee with an Associates degree in Applied Science.
Jill Rogers, structural engineer intern, has experience in all phases of design and construction providing structural engineering services for commercial, educational, and institutional facilities. Rogers is a double graduate of OSU, with a Bachelor of Architecture degree as well as a degree in Architectural Engineering.
Kilman Design Team, a division of Kinslow, Keith & Todd Inc., formed in 2006 to provide architectural and planning services for companies with prototype based building programs, recently added the following position:
Cliff Duncan, Team Operations Manager, handles document distribution, administrative, licensing and CAD support. Cliff received his Associates degree in Business Administration from Tulsa Community College.
Boomer Sooner Investment Pratners LLC purchased the former Bennigan’s building at 7030 S. Zurich Ave. for $2,186,021. The seller was Dayton Rite Aid LLC. Jordan James, CCIM, with JKJ Realty Co. handled the transaction for both parties.
CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma Completes Transactions
CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma, Oklahoma’s largest commercial real estate firm, announces that negotiations have been completed on the following transactions:
Bandera Roja LLC has purchased 6,800 SF at Boos Builders Building, 8141 East 74th Place for $712,500. The seller was Bank of Oklahoma. Steve Baker, CCIM with CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma handled the negotiations.
Labor’s International Union has purchased 8,110 SF at Jarvis Office Building, 11720 East 21st St. for $425,000. The sellers were Ray and Cindy Jarvis. Paul Williams, CCIM with CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma handled the negotiations.
Belclaire Corporation has purchased .903 acres at 114 East 3rd St. for $2,286,567.18 and .964 acres at 601 S. Boston for $2,114,412.82. Paul Williams, CCIM, CPM with CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma handled the negotiations.
George Suppes has purchased 1.2 acres at the southwest corner of 161st East Ave. and Pine St. for $43,500. Dave Markle with CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma handled the negotiations.
Bud Johnson Body Shop Inc. has purchased 9,000 SF at 1717 East 7th St. South for $327,000. The sellers were Barry D. and Sue A. Simpson. Tony Aaronson with CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma handled the negotiations.
Leases
Original Chili Bowl LLC has renewed its lease for 32,838 SF at Tulsa Distribution Center, 4477 South 70th East Ave. Jim Brown, CCIM, Stacie Stuart, Tom O’Brien, SIOR, CCIM, Matt Klimisch, SIOR, CCIM, and David Glasgow with CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma handled the negotiations.
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Dian Church has renewed her lease for 290 SF at The Pines, 6130 East 32nd St. Steve Baker, CCIM, Jeff Hilst, CCIM and Angela West, SIOR with CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma handled the negotiations.
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NuCO2 Supply LLC has leased 4,967 SF at Crosstown Business Center, 10153 East Admiral Place. Bob Pielsticker, SIOR, Shawna Hale, Dwayne Flynn, CCIM, SIOR, and Bill Mizener, SIOR with CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma handled the negotiations.
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Baker Hughes Oilfield Operations Inc. has leased 66,000 SF at the Port Spec Building, 5505 Bird Creek Ave. in Catoosa. Jim Brown, CCIM and Stacie Stuart with CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma represented the landlord. Tom O’Brien, SIOR, CCIM, Matt Klimisch, SIOR, CCIM and David Glasgow with CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma represented the tenant.
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Global Interface Solutions Inc. has renewed its lease for 4,691 SF at CityPlex Towers, 2448 East 81st St. Steve Baker, CCIM with CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma handled the negotiations.
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Scottrade Inc. has renewed its lease for 1,842 SF at Eton Square Shopping Center, 8221 East 61st St. Mark Rooney with CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma handled the negotiations.
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U.S. Naturals Inc. has leased 2,233 SF at Freeport Trade Center II, 3158 South 108th East Ave. Bob Pielsticker, SIOR, Jim Brown, CCIM, and Stacie Stuart with CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma handled the negotiations.
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Placeder One LLC has purchased 76.80 acres at 5300 S. Lawton for $675,000. The sellers were Claudia G. Dyer, Robert H. Kendall, William L. Kendall and Elizabeth K. Letcher. Monty Berry, CCIM of NAI Commercial Properties represented the seller and Bob Grant of Whiteside Grant represented the buyer.
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Plumbline Ministeries has renewed its lease of 3,300 SF at 6016 E. 66th St. The landlord is Miller Properties. Monty Berry, CCIM of NAI Commercial Properties handled the negotiations.
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Mother Tucker Ministries has leased 4100 SF a 4501 W. 55th St. The landlord is Tulsa Hills Baptist Church. Monty Berry, CCIM of NAI Commercial Properties handled the lease for both parties.
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Cornerstone Sales has renewed and expanded its lease for 863 SF at Westwood Plaza, 6539 East 31st St.. Steve Baker, CCIM and Angela West, SIOR with CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma handled the negotiations.
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Centimark Corp. has leased 2,629 SF at Maxim Business Park, 9906-C East 43rd St.. Tom O’Brien, SIOR, CCIM, Matt Klimisch, SIOR, CCIM and David Glasgow with CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma handled the negotiations.
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Spurrier Chemical Companies Inc. has leased 1,000 SF at Southland Trade Center, 4125 South 68th East Avenue. Tony Aaronson and Shawna Hale with CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma handled the negotiations.
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Baker Hughes Oilfield Operations Inc. has renewed its lease for 18,144 SF at Sanders Warehouse, 7601 East 46th St.. Jim Brown, CCIM and Stacie Stuart with CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma handled the negotiations.
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Diagnostic Health Services has renewed its lease for 5,400 at 6972 East 38th St.. Jim Brown, CCIM and Stacie Stuart with CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma handled the negotiations.
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All-Pro Fasteners Inc. has renewed its lease for 11,616 SF at Expressway Center, 3701 South 73rd East Avenue. Bob Pielsticker, SIOR with CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma handled the negotiayions.
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Chem-Dry of Tulsa has expanded its lease to 4,255 SF at 2101 North Beech Avenue. Shawna Hale, Dwayne Flynn, SIOR, CCIM and Bill Mizener, SIOR with CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma handled the negotiations.
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Advanced Design Interiors Corp. has leased 3,711 SF at 2101 North Beech Avenue. Shawna Hale, Dwayne Flynn, SIOR, CCIM and Bill Mizener, SIOR with CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma handled the negotiations.
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Jin’s Sung Chan Inc. has leased 1,000 SF at The Trade Center, 7743 East 38th St.. Shawna Hale with CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma handled the negotiations.
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Sure Shot Exterminating Inc. has leased 1,250 SF at 11626 East 51st St.. Shawna Hale, Dwayne Flynn, SIOR, CCIM and Bill Mizener, SIOR with CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma handled the negotiaions.
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American Eagle Rods Inc. has renewed its lease for 5,947 SF at Eleven Trade Center, 12135 East 11th St.. Matt Klimisch, SIOR, CCIM, Tom O’Brien, SIOR, CCIM and David Glasgow with CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma handled the negotiations.
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Johnson Controls has renewed its lease for 9,920 SF at Freeport Trade Center I, 3148 South 108th East Avenue. Bob Pielsticker, SIOR with CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma handled the negotiations.
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Increase Performance has leased 4,197 SF at Freeport Trade Center II, 3158 South 108th East Avenue. Bob Pielsticker, SIOR with CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma handled the negotiations.
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Matt McCoy Insurance Agency Inc. has leased 1,426 SF in Kenosha Commercial Center located at 4650 West Kenosha. Tanda Francis with Beacon Commercial Group Ltd. represented the landlord and Lee Chinowth with Chinowth & Cohen represented the tenant.
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Randy Smith Training Solutions leased 897 SF in Triad Center I at 7666 East 61st St.. Tanda Francis with Beacon Commercial Group Ltd. was the broker in the transaction.
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Communication Service for the Deaf Inc. leased 441 SF in Harvard Tower at 4815 South Harvard. Tanda Francis with Beacon Commercial Group Ltd. represented the tenant and Jared Jones with Bauer & Associates represented the landlord.
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Trak-1 Technology Inc. leased 20,834 SF in 7127 Riverside at 7127 South Riverside Drive. Tanda Francis with Beacon Commercial Group Ltd. was the broker in the transaction.
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Dowell Federal Credit Union leased 2,939 SF at Lewis Park located at 5319 South Lewis. Tanda Francis with Beacon Commercial Group Ltd. represented the landlord and Mary Martin with CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma represented the tenant.
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E-T Consolidated Energy LLC has leased 1,718 SF in Triad Center I located at 7666 East 61st St.. Tanda Francis with Beacon Commercial Group Ltd. was the broker in this transaction.
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5 Star Wealth Management LLC has leased 4,317 SF in Triad Center I located at 7666 East 61st St.. Tanda Francis with Beacon Commercial Group Ltd. represented the landlord and Neil Dailey with McGraw Commercial Properties represented the tenant.
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The Ameritrust Holding Company purchased .53 acres of land located at 4520 South Harvard Avenue from ACRON USA Fonds Harvard Garden Limited Partnership for $335,000. Tanda Francis with Beacon Commercial Group Ltd. represented the seller and Ken Tooman with Tooman Partners represented the buyer.
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Crow Creek Investments LLC purchased the 2,232-SF office building at 2508 East 21st St. in Inverness Park from Ronald W. Howell for $413,000. Tanda Francis with Beacon Commercial Group Ltd. represented the buyer and Doug Bauer with Bauer and Associates represented the seller.
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Dallas and Miller Logistics has leased 42,000 SF at 420 South 145th East Avenue. Bobby Pielsticker, SIOR with CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma handled the negotiaions.
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DeVault Enterprises Inc. has leased 1,402 SF at 1902 South Elm in Broken Arrow. Jim Brown, CCIM and Stacie Stuart with CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma handled the negotiaions.
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Mark A. Messer has leased 1,084 SF at Festival Square, 6549 East 71st St. Mark Rooney with CB Richard Ellis/Oklahoma handled the negotiaions.



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