Cooperative Response Center delays expansion

Published 7:17 am Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The economic climate has led Cooperative Response Center, delay its planned 11,000 square foot expansion in Austin.

The project, which was reported in August of 2008 to began in early 2009, is being pushed back to 2011 or 2012, according to Brad Fjelsta, controller with CRC, Inc..

Despite business conditions, the company, which serves as a 24-hour call center and software provider, continues to add employees, thus the need for the expansion.

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Austin’s community development director Craig Hoium called CRC, Inc. “a very good corporate citizen for the city of Austin,” at a city council work session Monday.

CRC, Inc. is based in Austin at 2000 Eighth Street NW. They also have offices in Dunlap, Tenn.

The business asked the city Monday for a first right of refusal to two lots located on the east side of the Cook Farm Development. This would essentially give CRC, Inc. first dibs to the property, for a certain length of time, if another party shows interest.

CRC, Inc. is considering selling their current facility, and building a new one on the Cook Farm property. It would likely be 25,000 to 30,000 square feet.

The company is considering venturing into bilingual call center service, in which case more jobs would be created in the Austin office, Fjelsta said.

CRC, Inc. evaluated more than 50 building sites in Albert Lea and Austin before selecting the Cook Farm site as their top choice.

CRC, Inc. currently employs more than 130 employees, of which 90 are in the Austin office.

The council will vote on the request at a later date.