Avison Young Buys Washington, DC Firm

The company expands its coverage in the District with the purchase of BMS Realty Services LLC, a leading property management firm.
Washington, D.C. Image courtesy of Avison Young

Avison Young has expanded its presence in Washington, D.C., with the acquisition of BMS Realty Services LLC, a leading property management firm.

“Our goal for 2020 was to grow our property management business in the downtown D.C. and Northern Virginia submarkets. By acquiring BMS, we now entered the highly competitive downtown market, and will continue to look to expand our portfolio,” Josh Peyton, managing director with Avison Young in Washington, D.C., told Commercial Property Executive.

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BMS has been serving the metropolitan Washington, D.C.-area from its location in the District since 1999. The firm specializes in providing private owners, institutions and not-for-profit organizations with a broad range of value-driven services designed to optimize building performance, promote tenant retention and enhance long-term property value. BMS’s offerings run the gamut and include operations, maintenance, accounting and financial reporting. At the time of the transaction, the firm’s portfolio of institutional properties under management encompassed 1.7 million square feet.

Now operating as Avison Young, BMS brings with it 23 members, including founder Larry McCulley, who now holds the position of executive vice president, Real Estate Management Services. “We’ve known Larry for a long time. The opportunity presented itself and we couldn’t pass on partnering with a highly regarded firm,” Peyton said. The closing of the merger comes almost exactly 10 years after Avison Young opened its first office in Washington, D.C., and marks the first time the firm has expanded in the metro area through acquisition since its purchase of Gaithersburg, MD-based McShea & Co. Inc. in 2013. Today, Avison Young’s Washington, D.C.-area footprint includes offices in the District, Tysons, Va., and Rockville, Md.

Extended growth spurt

Avison Young entered the U.S. market with the opening of a Chicago office in 2009 and ever since, the Toronto-based company has been engaged in an aggressive expansion campaign, with the consistent opening of new offices and acquisitions of existing firms across the country. Company purchases in 2019 include Hamburg, Germany-based Völckers & Cie Immobilien GmbH Real Estate Advisors, San Diego-based McKinney Advisory Group Inc. and the Phoenix area’s Strategic Retail Group, which marked the firm’s entrée into the State of Arizona’s retail brokerage business.

However, Avison Young’s most notable acquisition of 2019 came in February when the company completed the purchase of GVA, one of the U.K.’s top real estate advisory businesses. The merger increased Avison Young’s revenue to more than C$1 billion, or approximately $753 million. The firm’s purchase of BMS marks its first corporate acquisition of 2020.