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Omaha Magazine

Giving Homebuilders an Edge With Design: Curt Hofer & Associates Home Base

May 26, 2020 08:46AM ● By Kara Schweiss

Clients expect custom home builders like Curt Hofer & Associates to be resourceful in finding solutions to meet the changing needs of their families. So, when it came to maximizing their former office space at South 156th Circle and Bob Boozer Drive to accommodate the growth they saw over two decades, the team was easily able to turn their ingenuity inward. They reconfigured furnishings and fixtures. When the bay next door opened up, they removed a separating wall and expanded. They even constructed a mezzanine. By 2015, however, it was no longer enough. 

“After 20 years…we were debating what to do,” President Steve Huber said. “Do we sink money into a big remodel, or do we move further west?”

The decision became easier when a space the team had considered five years earlier became available again. It was only a few minutes west, at 168th and Frances streets in the Lakeside area, on the ground floor of a 15-year-old building with ample parking and quiet neighbors like an ophthalmology clinic and a mortgage company. Because the space formerly housed a bank and then a land developer, it provided an ideal footprint with fixtures like large work surfaces in common areas with wide, shallow drawers perfect for blueprints. “So we jumped,” Huber said. 

Some updates to paint and wallpaper, along with other cosmetic improvements like upgraded surfaces and flooring, made the new offices move-in ready in March 2016. The look of the suite is contemporary but with touches of warmth and elegance such as sconce lighting, eight-foot-tall interior doors, a barrel-vaulted ceiling, and rich textures befitting a high-end residential builder. 

 

“It has a little bit of that ‘house’ appeal to it. It’s not just your white Manila-envelope office space,” Huber said. “It’s worked out pretty well.”

A spacious meeting room accommodates a large conference table brought over from the old office, and all seats have a clear view to a wall-mounted monitor. Most appointments with clients take place there, Huber said. 

“Years ago, people would come in with a big stack of magazines with all these sticky tabs,” he said, explaining that clients now pull images online from sites like Houzz and Pinterest to explore ideas for new builds and remodels. “Everything is so visual. And there it is on the 50-inch screen.”

The company retained the room’s tall cabinets, which fit displays of surfaces and finishes like granite samples, moulding and millwork, and windows. 

“People look at it on paper, but they can’t see it in three dimensions,” Huber said. “These things help people understand what products are about.” 

A smaller collaborative space serves as a “war room” for project meetings. Common work areas boast large counter spaces for viewing blueprints. A cabinet company helped create desks with broader-than-typical tops for the offices located around the perimeter of the suite.  

“One appeal to this space is that we have individual offices now,” Huber said. Not only do the windows bring in abundant natural light, project managers and clients alike appreciate the privacy and relatively quiet atmosphere. 

Function comes first, Huber said, but ambience is also important—and he thinks the company nailed it. 

“It’s edgy, but not over the top. We’re conservative in nature, so at the same time we wanted it to be nice and inviting for the clients we work with,” Huber said. “We want them to feel comfortable.” 

Visit curthofer.com for more information.

This article was printed in the June 2020 issue of B2B Magazine.