- The Washington Times - Monday, June 11, 2001

National brokerages Cushman & Wakefield and Cushman Realty are nearing completion of their $900 million merger, a deal expected to boost the firm's reputation in the Washington area.
"The key to any merger is compatibility, and this is a good fit for both companies," says Brian McVay, senior managing director for Cushman & Wakefield in the mid-Atlantic region.
Together, the two brokerages have handled the largest leases in downtown Washington so far this year, Mr. McVay says.
In May, the Federal Trade Commission signed a lease for 200,000 square feet at 601 New Jersey Ave. NW, a Capitol Hill office building under construction. Cushman Realty represented the developer, Lowe Enterprises.
Later that month, Cushman & Wakefield helped the developer of a proposed 650,000-square-foot office near Union Station secure a big tenant: the federal Securities and Exchange Commission, which plans to take the entire space.
"I think [those deals] reflect the strength of both companies in this market," Mr. McVay says.
The merger, which is expected to be completed this summer, will unite two firms that were founded by members of the same Cushman family. The united company will carry the Cushman & Wakefield name.
When the merger is complete, the business will have 135 employees in the Washington area, including 38 brokers. The company will operate out of Cushman & Wakefield's office at 1801 K St. NW; Cushman Realty's digs at 1101 Connecticut Ave. NW will be subleased.
Last week, Cushman & Wakefield announced another acquisition: Chip Ryan, who has ended a nine-year career at Insignia/ ESG to join Cushman as executive director of its Tysons Corner office.
"Guys like Chip don't jump ship every day. We're really privileged to have him," Mr. McVay says.

Jeffords fever

Mr. Ryan isn't the only local broker with Jim Jeffords fever these days.
It appears Mr. Jeffords, the Vermont senator who switched his party affiliation from Republican to Independent last week, has also inspired D. Steven Akridge to make a big change.
Mr. Akridge has left his employer of the last 20 years, the John Akridge Cos., to help Baltimore brokerage KLNB start a D.C. operation.
KLNB, which also has an office in McLean, wants to snag a piece of the lucrative downtown Washington office market, says John Blumer, its executive vice president and chief operating officer.
"Our McLean office is performing exceptionally well… . This move to downtown represents a natural extension of our services," Mr. Blumer says.
Mr. Akridge predicts the $878 million firm — which sold or leased more than 12 million square feet last year — is making a smart move, even though the economy has slowed.
"The downtown commercial office market has remained stable and is among the most prolific in the country," says Mr. Akridge, who is also a founder and owner of the two Wally's World Coffee shops in the District.

In other news

Columbia General Corp. and Ibus Co. have purchased a 95 percent interest in Channel Square, a 203-unit apartment building at 325 P St. SW for $10.4 million. Cushman & Wakefield helped arrange the deal.
Financial services firm Solomon Smith Barney will lease 34,000 square feet in the Apex Building at 7272 Wisconsin Ave. in Bethesda. It plans to move in this month. Local brokerage Julien J. Studley represented Solomon, and Pinnacle Realty represented the landlord, the American Society of Hospital Pharmacists.
Metro One Telecommunications will lease 15,681 square feet of industrial space at 7050 Infantry Road in Manassas, Va. Local brokerage Grubb & Ellis arranged the deal.
Academic Travel Abroad will lease 11,414 square feet at 1920 N St. NW. Local brokerages Randall H. Hagner and the John Akridge Cos. arranged the 10-year lease.
Baltimore developer MIE Properties has completed construction on a 54,040-square-foot office building in the International Trade Center near Baltimore-Washington International Airport.
The Blackstone Group, a New York investment bank, has sold 1225 Connecticut Ave. NW to TrizecHahn. Terms were not disclosed. The 223,618-square-foot building is fully leased.
Montgomery County has approved a $100 million plan to build 412,000 square feet of offices and shops in Friendship Heights. Chevy Chase Land Co. will be the developer.

Chris Baker can be reached at 202/636-3139 or baker@twtmail.com.

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