Morrison Commercial Real Estate Acquisition

Avison Young acquires Morrison Commercial Real Estate, opens new office in Orlando, Florida, 11 members join

Purchase expands Avison Young’s Florida footprint; Greg Morrison becomes Managing Director

Toronto, ONMark E. Rose, Chair and CEO of Avison Young, the world’s fastest-growing commercial real estate services firm, announced today that it has acquired Orlando, Florida-based MCRE, LLC (doing business as Morrison Commercial Real Estate) and opened a new office in Orlando.

The newest American office represents Avison Young’s sixth office in Florida, 44th office in the U.S., and an additional step in the firm’s ongoing aggressive growth and expansion strategy.

Over the past five-and-a-half years, Avison Young has grown from 11 to, now, 61 offices in 50 markets and from 300 to more than 1,600 real estate professionals in Canada, the U.S. and Europe.

Morrison Commercial Real Estate, founded by Greg Morrison in 2007, is one of Central Florida’s leading commercial real estate firms. A full-service brokerage firm specializing in the office and industrial sectors, the company provides landlord, owner and tenant representation services in leasing, buying, selling, and site selection of commercial properties.

Effective immediately, 11 members join Avison Young, two of whom – Morrison and Lisa Bailey – become Principals. Morrison also becomes Managing Director of the new Orlando office. With 25 years of industry experience, he will focus on overseeing the growth and development of Avison Young’s presence in the Orlando region, servicing new and existing clients, and managing the day-to-day operations of the office.

As a result of the acquisition, Avison Young will assume a significant leasing portfolio, including the representation of more than 3.4 million square feet of office space in the Central Florida market. The new Orlando office will also include property management in its broad span of services.

“We are pleased to be opening our sixth office in Florida in two years. The purchase of Morrison Commercial Real Estate further galvanizes Avison Young’s market coverage throughout Florida,” comments Rose. “Once again, we are adding individuals who are respected for their leadership and who will be tremendous additions to our Principal-led organization.”

Rose continues: “Orlando represents one of the three major markets in the state that Avison Young now operates out of. The city’s significant population base – the third largest metro area in the state – and mass appeal to both owners and tenants make Orlando a natural hub for Avison Young to have a home base from which to serve our growing client base. We couldn’t be more pleased to have this team on board. Greg and Lisa’s deep market knowledge, strong negotiation skills and vast network of contacts will be invaluable in helping to accomplish our clients’ objectives.”

Also joining Avison Young from Morrison Commercial Real Estate are: Emily Zinaich (Senior Vice-President), Lawson Dann (Senior Vice-President), Scott Pamplin (Vice-President), Nathan Eissler (Senior Associate), Jennifer Eubanks (marketing coordinator), Sarah Holodick (marketing coordinator), Patrick Morrison (Associate), Marylyn Tryon (operations coordinator) and Gina Wade (marketing coordinator).

“Adding an Orlando office further accentuates our company’s mission to expand our client-centric services in key geographic locations, and this acquisition ensures a holistic presence throughout the state of Florida,” states Earl Webb, Avison Young’s President, U.S. Operations. “We believe that our industrial and office capabilities and assignments in the area, under the stewardship of Greg Morrison, will grow exponentially, and our clients will be expertly guided. This team has an excellent track record of superior client service and a collaborative culture – both of which are consistent with our approach here at Avison Young.”

Avison Young opened its first Florida offices in October 2012 in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and Miami with Pike Rowley joining as a Principal and Managing Director. In May 2013, Avison Young acquired WG Compass Realty Cos. and opened a West Palm Beach office. In September 2013, Avison Young acquired Lane Witherspoon & Carswell Commercial Real Estate Advisors and opened a new office in Tampa.

“The Orlando market is benefiting from improved infrastructure and logistics and a rebounding office market, resulting in increased real estate development, which is spurring job creation. As such, transaction activity is driving revenues for professional services throughout the state, making the timing ideal for the Morrison team to join Avison Young,” notes Rowley. “More than the attractive market conditions in Orlando, this acquisition will strengthen the opportunities for the Florida offices to collaborate in order to provide our clients with the best possible service, and continue to position the firm as a full-service provider with reach throughout the Southeast region.”

Effective immediately, Avison Young’s Orlando office is located in downtown Orlando at 255 South Orange Avenue, Suite 1545.

“Our entire team looks forward to working with our new colleagues at Avison Young,” says Morrison. “The Avison Young brand will enable us to grow our business while providing unprecedented service to clients on a local, national and international basis. Taking advantage of strong job-growth fundamentals in Central Florida, our veteran team of brokers and administrators will enable Avison Young to grow its property-management platform and overall market reach throughout the state and U.S. Southeast.”

He adds: “Our team also welcomes the opportunity to become part of Avison Young’s Principal-led ownership model and collaborative culture. We recognized that, to compete effectively in today’s dynamic Central Florida market and the global marketplace, we needed to team up with a leading-edge firm that would still allow us to maintain our investments and leadership positions – and include our highly valued employees. Our team and I also know that we can better serve clients by collaborating with our colleagues in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and, in the not-too-distant future, other parts of Europe. We’re thrilled about the chance to help existing and new clients grow their business as we expand ours.”

The Orlando metro area – generally defined by the four counties of Orange, Seminole, Lake and Osceola – boasts more than 2.1 million people, making Orlando the 26th largest metro area in the U.S. While Orlando is renowned worldwide for its tropical climate and relaxed lifestyle, the region is also one of the top 10 locations in the country for business. The region’s employment is led by leisure and hospitality, with Walt Disney World Company ranking as the largest employer. The metro area is also home to 54 corporate headquarters, including AirTran, JetBlue, NBC Universal, Darden Restaurants, Tupperware Brands Corp., American Automobile Association (AAA) and Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

Today’s announcement comes on the heels of Avison Young announcing on November 10, 2014 that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Miami, Florida-based commercial real estate brokerage and property management firm Abood Wood-Fay Real Estate Group, LLC (doing business as Colliers International South Florida). Subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close this month. Avison Young also opened an office in Cleveland, Ohio on September 23, 2014 and acquired New Jersey-based asset management firm Kwartler Associates on September 18, 2014.

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Biographies

Greg Morrison Greg Morrison is widely recognized as one of Central Florida’s leading commercial real estate professionals. A 25-year veteran of the Orlando commercial real estate market, Morrison specializes in the marketing of office properties for lease and sale, as well as the representation of tenants and buyers in search of space or land for development. During his career, he has negotiated more than $650 million in lease and sale transactions.

Prior to joining Avison Young, Morrison founded and built Morrison Commercial Real Estate into a solid office brokerage practice in the Orlando commercial real estate community. Prior to that, he served as Executive Director for the Orlando office of commercial real estate brokerage firm GVA Advantis. In this capacity, Morrison played a critical role in facilitating countless transactions from inception to closing in all sectors, including office, industrial and land. He also gained skills in managing a complex operation and business development. Prior to joining GVA Advantis, Morrison held brokerage positions at NAI Welsh, Pizzuti Companies and The Bywater Company – one of Orlando's longest-standing local commercial real estate firms. Morrison also holds the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) and Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR) designations.

Lisa Bailey Lisa Bailey brings more than two decades of industry experience to Avison Young. During her career, she has closed more than 1,000 commercial real estate transactions. Before beginning her formal career in commercial real estate, she was closely involved in her family’s vast commercial real estate portfolio in Central Florida. Prior to joining Avison Young, Bailey served as Senior Vice-President at Morrison Commercial Real Estate. Before that, she was Senior Director of Office/Industrial Services and also acted as the Managing Director for the Orlando office of GVA Advantis. Bailey has also held leasing positions at Southland Management Company, Faison & Associates, Trammell Crow, NAI Welsh Companies, and Carter & Associates USA.

In addition, Bailey was named a CoStar Power Broker from 2005 to 2013, and ranked among Commercial Real Estate Women’s (CREW) Top 20 women in commercial real estate in 2007. She has been a member/board member of NAIOP for the past three years and is a candidate for the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR) designation.

Avison Young is the world’s fastest-growing commercial real estate services firm. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Avison Young is a collaborative, global firm owned and operated by its principals. Founded in 1978, the company comprises 1,600 real estate professionals in 61 offices, providing value-added, client-centric investment sales, leasing, advisory, management, financing and mortgage placement services to owners and occupiers of office, retail, industrial and multi-family properties.

For further information/comment/photos:

  • Sherry Quan, Principal, National Director of Communications & Media Relations, Avison Young: 604.647.5098; mobile: 604.726.0959
  • Mark Rose, Chair and CEO, Avison Young: 416.673.4028
  • Earl Webb, President, U.S. Operations, Avison Young: 312.957.7610
  • Pike Rowley, Principal & Managing Director, Florida, Avison Young: 954.903.1800
  • Greg Morrison, Principal & Managing Director, Orlando, Florida, Avison Young: 407.440.6640

Avison Young’s new Orlando, Florida office is located at: 255 S. Orange Avenue, Suite 1545, Orlando, Florida, 32801

www.avisonyoung.com

Avison Young was a winner of Canada’s Best Managed Companies program in 2011 and 2012 and requalified in 2013 to maintain its status as a Best Managed company.

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