Avison Young Buys PSB; SCM Merges with Coldwell Banker

Two commercial real estate services firms – Avison Young and Coldwell Banker Commercial Alliance – continue to expand by merging with strong local brokerages across the United States.
Scott Pickett, of AY

Scott Pickett, of AY

Two commercial real estate services firms – Avison Young and Coldwell Banker Commercial Alliance – continue to expand by merging with strong local brokerages across the United States.

Avison Young, the fast-growing CRE firm headquartered in Toronto, accelerated its moves in the Midwest by acquiring PSB Realty Advisors of Columbus. It is Avison Young’s 39th office out of Canada and the second one announced within a week.  On Jan. 9, Avison Young said it acquired The Eidson Group L.L.C in Atlanta, further growing its influence in that city.

In Columbus, Scott Pickett becomes a principal of Avison Young and managing director of the office. The acquisition gives Avison Young a significant leasing and management portfolio in Columbus, including the 20-story, 225,000-square-foot Key Bank Tower.

“Columbus will serve as another vital link to the Chicago area and enhance services to clients who operate extensively, or are based in, the Midwest. The central location also enables us to tie in services to clients on both the East Coast and West Coast,” Mark Rose, chair & CEO of Avison Young, said in a news release.

Pickett was the president of PSB Realty Advisors, which he formed in 2008 following his tenure as vice president at CB Richard Ellis in Columbus. He was also a vice president at Continental Real Estate Cos. and started his career at The Pickett Cos. Joining Pickett from PSB Realty Advisors are Steve Heiser and Graydon Webb.

“By operating under the Avison Young brand, Steve, Graydon and I can increase our service offerings to Columbus-area clients who operate nationally and internationally, and tap into the company’s expertise and large network on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border and beyond,” Pickett said in the release.

Avison Young now has 54 offices in 43 markets and more than 1,500 real estate professionals in North America. In addition to the Atlanta acquisition this year, the firm acquired Maryland-based McShea & Co. in November to expand into metropolitan Washington, D.C., and also purchased Dillon Corporate Services/Cresa Dallas in October.

The Dallas area is seeing more CRE consolidation with the recent announcement that SCM Real Estate Services in Arlington, Texas, is merging with New York-based Coldwell Banker Commercial Alliance, a rapidly expanding real estate brokerage firm focused on private investors and small to mid-cap businesses. The headquarters will remain in Arlington, but the firm plans to open offices in Dallas and Fort Worth this year.

“The benefits that our clients and our team gain by joining Coldwell Banker Commercial Alliance are definitely worth rebranding our 21-year-old company. Our name and available resources are expanding while our mission of making places better will remain the same,” said Gary Walker, founder & president of SCM Real Estate Services, who will serve as managing principal of Coldwell Banker Commercial Alliance DFW.

Gary Walker

Gary Walker, of SCM

“We had considered a number of expansion opportunities,” Walker added in the release. “The CBC Alliance organization allows us to keep our own culture and independence while taking our company to the next level.”

Walker is also the managing partner of SkyWalker Property Partners and managing member of the $100 million Hangover Opportunity Fund L.L.C., an investment vehicle with commercial real estate holdings in Texas and nearby states.

Founded in 1992, the firm has 30 employees. Theron Bryant, a principal of SCM, will lead the Fort Worth office as a market director. Carol Sosebee, also a SCM principal, remains chief operating officer and director of property management.

“Gary and his team have been incredibly successful in serving small and mid-cap businesses in the Mid-Cities as well as private investors throughout the Metroplex,” Obie Walli, CEO of Coldwell Banker Commercial Alliance, said in the release. “This is a terrific opportunity for both organizations and underscores both the strength of the Coldwell Banker Commercial Alliance platform as well as our commitment to attracting top organizations in the industry to our company.”

Coldwell Banker Commercial Alliance was launched in 2012 by Waterfall Asset Management. The firm, which is affiliated with Coldwell Banker Commercial, has offices in Los Angeles and Orange County in California, Denver, and Miami. It has closed $800 million in transactions and has over 6 million square feet under management.