Thursday, March 24, 2011

More Grubb & Ellis
Here is a more comprehensive CoStar article on Grubb & Ellis and how its decision to "explore strategic alternatives" is part of bigger changes in the commercial brokerage industry.  The article does not present any new information on Grubb & Ellis, restating the story from the articles I linked to yesterday.  It does put Grubb's decision into context:
"The Grubb & Ellis announcement is part of a natural evolution in the industry where firms in the middle market with revenues between $100 million and $1 billion will really have to either get much, much bigger, or much smaller," said Dylan Taylor, chief executive officer in the U.S. for Colliers International. "Mid-market firms are strategically challenged. They may not be big enough to be multi-billion-dollar global players that can afford to invest in recruitment of talent and technology."
The article goes on to discuss recent commercial brokerage transactions.  This statement on the global push of commercial real estate stuck out to me:
Some of the expanding firms may be international firms looking to enter or grow their presence in the U.S. For example, London-based Savills recently announced it was reviving its U.S. expansion, opening two new offices and forming an international investment group. In February, CBRE agreed to acquire ING Real Estate Investment Management, a unit of Holland-based ING Group NV.
Any article on Grubb & Ellis always mentions the portfolio of tenant in common transactions and the CoStar article does not disappoint:
Although the company has a wide U.S. footprint for delivering transaction and management services, one of the challenges facing Grubb & Ellis is that it also has a large portfolio of troubled tenant-in-common (TIC) assets acquired when Grubb joined with NNN Realty Advisors Inc. in 2007 near the peak of the real estate boom. The company has faced complicated integration issues during the downturn, including management of the NNN Realty legacy assets.

In February, Grubb
launched Daymark Realty Advisors Inc. as a wholly owned and separately managed company to manage those assets. Daymark becomes the fourth Grubb & Ellis reporting segment in addition to its transaction, management and investment management businesses. It also becomes one of the nation's largest asset management companies, overseeing a nationwide portfolio of about 33 million square feet, including more than 8,700 multifamily units.
The TIC assets, which ironically gave NNN Realty Advisors the scale to acquire Grubb & Ellis, are now viewed as an albatross to Grubb & Ellis, which I think is a short-sighted view.   But my opinion on the old TIC assets is a topic for a future post.

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