Elizabeth Christian had been looking for an office building to purchase for her growing public relations firm and found an opportunity in Northwest Austin.
Christian owns Elizabeth Christian Public Relations, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The firm was previously headquartered in downtown Austin on Congress Avenue.
“We’re going to miss downtown … but I had looked for a building to purchase, and the buildings downtown are pricey and huge," she said. "I didn’t want to be a landlord."
In late August, ECPR moved into its new 8,000-square-foot office at 8008 Spicewood Lane near the intersection of Spicewood Springs Road and Mesa Drive. Christian said the company has about 18 employees, and the new location will give ECPR room to grow.
The two-story building was built in the 1970s. ECPR is renovating the facility to include a video studio, conference rooms and private offices for employees. Renovations should be complete by the holidays, Christian said.
Clients include St. David’s HealthCare, Google and Concordia University Texas, all of which have locations in Northwest Austin. Christian said another draw to Northwest Austin for the move is being in the tech center of Austin.
Many of the firm’s employees also live north, including Christian, who lives in Northwest Hills. But for employees who live farther south, she said their commutes have been about the same or in some cases take less time.
“One of the ways we’re going to solve mobility problems in Austin is to think about Imagine Austin, and we have to think about where work nodes can happen organically,” she said. “78759 has become one of those work nodes [by] not having everyone aiming one single place.”
The building formerly housed Amelia Bullock Realtors, which was acquired by Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty in August 2014. Christian said she has been friends with the former co-owners Amelia Bullock and Barbara Wallace for years.
“It was one of Austin’s oldest women-owned businesses, and now we’re buying the building as a women-owned business,” Christian said. “It’s passing a torch.”