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Dayton Marketing Firm's Move Into Downtown Spurs Creativity

Hafenbrack Marketing & Public Relations Showcases Creative Abilities in Designing New Office Space

DAYTON, Ohio - It all started with a phone call. Dave Hafenbrack, Founder of the agency that bears his name, was in his car on the way to look at a new office space when he received a call from a longtime friend and client. The brief conversation on the phone that followed set into motion a chain of events that has revived an historic building, spurred Dayton's creative market and given Hafenbrack's team a chance to create a workspace that is as chic and posh as it is functional.

"It surprised me to hear from Bob Shiffler. He called and said he was reviving a building downtown, heard I was looking for a new space and just wanted me to check out the building before I made a decision," said Hafenbrack.


Hafenbrack met Shiffler at the Kuhns Building on the corner of Fourth and Main Streets to take a tour. The Kuhns Building was built in 1883 and is one of Dayton's oldest buildings. It's unique romanesque edifice, so emblematic of the early Gilded Age, is a gem in the city's urban landscape. It is listed on the Register of National Historic Landmarks and noted for its breathtaking architecture. It has been the home to many things from a shoe manufacturing facility to a variety store until Bob and Nancy Shiffler bought the building and got to work turning it into a beautifully renovated mixed use office building.

The tour Hafenbrack took turned into another tour with some of his staff, which turned the Fourth and Fifth Floors of the Kuhns Building into the new home to Hafenbrack Marketing. However, there is a whole lot more to the story as the empty space was an open lofted area with a spiral staircase tying the two floors together. Enter Scott Winters - a senior designer with the company for nearly 20 years.

"When I first laid eyes upon the space, I immediately saw the potential. There was plenty of natural light, open space, and room for adding the personal touch. The challenge was developing the best use for the space, keeping in mind that we needed the wow factor for our clients and the numerous events we planned on holding there, while still keeping it functional for a busy full service creative and marketing firm," said Winters.

The challenge of creating a comfortable and functional space was fully embraced by Winters and the entire Hafenbrack team. From deciding the color palate, to furniture choices, to layout, to the finishing touches of decoration, the collaborative effort took months of careful planning.

"We wanted to be unique and create the best office space in the area, while still maintaining the themes of the building," added Winters.

In January 2007, Hafenbrack Marketing made the move into the Kuhns Building at 15 W. 4th St., Suite 410 in downtown Dayton. It is not a sprawling, neatly landscaped suburban campus. Parking can, at times, be a true hassle. The ancient boiler and historic windows sometimes can't keep up with the winter as well as desired. Yet, when you walk into the Kuhns Building and reach Hafenbrack Marketing on the Fourth Floor, you immediately forget about all of it. From the ornate detail of the lobby, to the grand hallways, to the entrance into Hafenbrack's reception area, associates, clients, and visitors alike, pause a moment and take it all in.

Walking through the glass door into the reception area, one would think that they have walked into a Madison Avenue agency. The chic decoration, the loft space, the workspaces without walls and all of the other detail immediately call to attention Hafenbrack Marketing's creative capabilities.

"We wanted the space to convey the collaborative effort we put into every project," said Winters. "That was accomplished by constructing frosted glass dividers that allow our designers and project management team a semi-private workspace, yet they can still consult with each other without the barriers of walls or cubicles."

The office is set up with a wireless internet and plenty of comfortable seating areas. This feature allows meetings with partners, coworkers and clients to take a more relaxing tone, which allows for more fluid exchange of ideas.

"I couldn't ask for more of an easier space to work in," said Melissa Wyatt, a Project Manager and Public Relations Specialist with Hafenbrack. "A lot of thought was put into creating a layout that is welcoming to our clients and partners in the downtown community and also allows me to execute and coordinate the many and varying projects that flow through the office."

Throughout their first year in the new space, Hafenbrack Marketing has hosted events for clients, opened its doors to tours during two of the community's Urban Nights celebrations, and even hosted award-winning client appreciation events. The events not only feature Hafenbrack's office space, but also the building's Second Floor Atrium and Patio.

From meetings with clients, to late night creative brainstorming sessions, to wonderful special event hosting, Hafenbrack Marketing has made the most its move downtown. With the growth they are experiencing, Hafenbrack Marketing is currently working with Shiffler to build out additional space in the Kuhn's Building.

"The move into the heart of Dayton has created more opportunities for us to network with the Dayton business community and has shown our commitment to the success and rebirth of downtown," said Alex Loehrer, Hafenbrack Vice President of Client Services. "We were a little surprised by how warm our reception into the community was; since the move, we have added multiple positions and have increased our workload, a majority coming from businesses downtown."

To view a 360 degree tour of Hafenbrack Marketing's downtown Dayton office, visit www.hafenbrack.com and follow the links to the 'virtual tour' feature on the site.

"Dayton is a great city and we are thrilled to come here and make our home here. It has been one of the best business decisions I have ever made," added Hafenbrack.