Avison Young Acquires L.A.-Based Ramsey-Shilling

Avison Young continues to increase its presence in the U.S. by opening new offices and snapping up firms, and now the Canadian firm has expanded its footprint with the acquisition of Ramsey-Shilling Commercial Real Estate Services Inc., a leading Los Angeles brokerage firm.

December 9, 2011
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

Christopher Bonbright will join the new Avison Young L.A. office. Skyline image courtesy Flickr user jondoeforty1.

Dallas. Las Vegas. Washington. Avison Young continues to increase its presence in the U.S. by opening new offices and snapping up firms, and now the largest independently-owned commercial real estate services company in Canada has expanded its footprint south of the border again with the acquisition of Ramsey-Shilling Commercial Real Estate Services Inc., a leading Los Angeles brokerage firm.

Avison Young made its first foray into Los Angeles in August with the opening of a three-person team headed by industry veteran Neil Resnick. Now, veritably overnight, the group has ballooned with the addition of 23 employees, including 18 seasoned brokers.

Longtime local commercial real estate players Christopher Bonbright, Mark Evanoff, John Tronson and Michael Dettling are now onboard to serve as principals. Together, they plan to make Avison Young a major force in the city.

“We’re looking to build a larger network, we’re looking to be at the level of the largest firm in the region,” Bonbright told Commercial Property Executive. “Los Angeles is defined by the size of its geography. It’s a collection of several very large markets that all function together, so we need to have a large presence here.”

And that means multiple offices. Plans for down the road include offices in downtown, San Fernando Valley, West Los Angeles and the Inland Empire, which is one of the top industrial markets in the country.

High on the team’s radar screen is a submarket that, once on the back burner, has pushed its way to the forefront. “I think without question the most ascendant submarket in the L.A. region has for several years been Hollywood,” Bonbright said. “Hollywood has, over the last 10 years, risen to a level that now competes with the other leading markets in the Los Angeles basin. And it has the benefit of having more development opportunities because there’s some land that’s available. Over the last 10 years, through the efforts of a lot of people including a Business Improvement District, it really has had a successful renaissance.”

The acquisition of Ramsey-Shilling marks the most recent of several steps Avison Young has taken in its growth strategy over the last few months. Last month, the firm opened an office in Las Vegas and in July, it set up shop in Dallas. Also over the summer, Avison Young expanded its presence in metropolitan Washington, D.C., with the purchase of Millennium Realty Advisors L.L.C.