Cushman & Wakefield expands to Baltimore


January 19, 2007|By Lorraine Mirabella | Lorraine Mirabella,Sun reporter

Cushman & Wakefield, an international real estate brokerage in New York, will expand to Baltimore next week with a lineup of local veteran brokers from the former Trammell Crow Co.

Rival CB Richard Ellis Group Inc, the world's largest commercial real estate services company, acquired Trammell Crow in December for about $1.79 billion.

Earlier this month, Cushman & Wakefield ended its alliance with MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services LLC of Lutherville to expand on its own after MacKenzie turned down offers to be acquired.

Cushman, the nation's largest privately held real estate firm with $1.6 billion in annual revenue, opened its first office in Maryland, in Bethesda, at the end of 2005.

Its new Baltimore office, at 300 E. Lombard St., will open Tuesday with eight former Trammell brokers, including four vice presidents.

It will be headed by T. Courtenay Jenkins III, one of the former senior vice presidents. Four of the eight brokers specialize in office leasing, investment sales and management, and four specialize in the industrial sector, Jenkins said.

Plans call for expanding to about 20 brokers as early as this year.

Soon after Cushman expanded into Maryland, "It became obvious ... there were going to be clients who wanted us to look at the Baltimore market as well as the Washington and suburban Maryland," said Jim Underhill, regional manager for Cushman and Wakefield.

"When the Crow talent became available, it caused us to say, `Let's make the move [into Baltimore] now. It's difficult recruiting that much quality talent in a strong market.' "

The alliance with MacKenzie had given Cushman a presence in an area once considered a secondary market.

"But markets like Baltimore, you can't call secondary any more," Underhill said. "To me it's an integral part of one of the most significant markets in the United States, and the expectation is you have the same level of talent and expertise in Baltimore as you do in the best markets in the country."

Cushman's expansion can only help Baltimore at a time of strong interest from investors in commercial real estate, said Michael A. Anikeeff, chair of the Edward St. John Department of Real Estate at the Johns Hopkins University.

"If Baltimore were a publicly traded company, they'd want as many analysts and brokerage firms covering it as possible, just to give it more exposure," Anikeeff said. "The fact that more people are promoting it is going to make for a better market."

Underhill said clients, including institutional owners of commercial properties and the companies that lease space, want to work with the same brokerage across different geographic markets. Services will include tenant and land leasing, investment sales, apartment sales, property and project management and consulting.

Brokers making the move besides Jenkins, who will be a senior director, include: Thomas C. Jackson, senior director; Kyle S. Durkee, associate; Whitney M. Nye, associate; J. Joseph Casey, director, Thomas S. Burns, director; John D. Roe Jr., director; and Robert L. Millhauser, associate director.

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