Avison Young Expands in Metro DC with McShea Acquisition

Toronto-headquartered Avison Young's aggressive, methodical growth plan continues as the CRE services firm increases its footprint in metropolitan Washington, D.C., with the acquisition of McShea & Co.
Mark Rose, of AY

Mark Rose, of AY

Toronto, Ont.-headquartered Avison Young’s aggressive, methodical growth plan continues as the commercial real estate services firm increases its footprint in metropolitan Washington, D.C., with the acquisition of McShea & Company Inc. The purchase of the Gaithersburg, Md.-based McShea marks the fourth time in the last few years that Avison Young has brought a successful Washington-area firm into the fold.

“[McShea is] such an incredible fit and such extraordinary people for their clients, it just made all the sense in the world,” Mark Rose, chair & CEO of Avison Young, told Commercial Property Executive.

The merger transpired as McShea, one of the largest privately held real estate services firms in suburban Maryland, celebrated its 30th year. The firm has cultivated a solid reputation across the Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia region, providing a list offerings that includes commercial leasing, property management, development services, consulting and advisory services, feasibility analysis and due diligence and lease administration.  With the McShea acquisition, Avison Young’s leasing practice and portfolio of properties under management in Greater Washington grow to 30 million square feet and 10 million square feet, respectively, and its staff in the area increases to more than 250.

It’s all part of the plan; the plan to continue to grow as a privately owned, principal-led company with a presence in major markets, expanding into secondary markets. A plan for what Avison Young describes as a 2-by-5-by-4 company: two clients, the owners and occupiers; five service lines for each client; and four product types, which are office, industrial, retail and multi-family.

“So knowing that we know who we are, this was completely on strategy to acquire one of the most highly regarded firms in Maryland, not to complete–because we’re still not done–but to gain significant market share with the right people that fit our culture,” Rose said.

Avison Young also found the right people and the right fit with Northern Virginia-based Appian Realty Advisors in 2010, Northern Virginia’s Millennium Realty Advisors in 2011, and the Bethesda, Md.-based Realty Management Company in 2012.

“We are constantly talking to extraordinary individuals who would add to the fabric of what we’re building and I will guarantee you that we’re not done in the Washington region,” he added.

Avison Young isn’t done in the U.S. or the world, for that matter. The firm is expanding internationally, having recently opened small offices in London and Frankfurt. And there will be more activity in Mexico, South America and Asia over time. “There’s much, much more to go,” Rose concluded.