Avison Young Expands into Tennessee

The Avison Young expansion express continues, all the way to the Volunteer State.

By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

Mark Rose, Avison Young
Mark Rose, Avison Young

The Avison Young expansion express continues, as the Toronto-based commercial real estate services firm rides into Tennessee for the first time and opens two new offices in Nashville and Knoxville, staffing them with Cushman & Wakefield | Cornerstone’s entire 82-person team.

“We are thrilled to expand the platform to meet the needs of our most important stakeholders. Platform is critical to executing on client objectives and delivering solutions to complex problems,” Mark Rose, chair & CEO of Avison Young, told Commercial Property Executive.

Nashville and Knoxville are not, say, Houston and Dallas, but they are important markets to Avison Young for three good reasons, the first of which is the fact that the firm’s global clientele are active in all robust markets–big or small, tier one or no.

“Additionally, we always look to cities that house significant commercial real estate inventory and are home to multi-national corporate headquarters,” Rose added. “Third, and maybe the defining point–when you have a chance to work with good people, who are leaders in their markets, we will always seek to expand our collaborative partnership.”

If Avison Young wanted to get a strong, reputable foothold in Tennessee overnight, snapping up 13-year-old C&W/Cornerstone was a good way to do it. An independently owned and operated member of the Cushman & Wakefield Alliance until now, the two-office firm has increased its portfolio of leased and managed properties to more than 11 million square feet over the last five years, and  arranged in excess of $315 million of investment sales within the last 18 months.

The man spearheading those achievements, C&W/Cornerstone’s CEO Warren Smith, is also along for the ride over to Avison Young, where he will take on the role of managing director of the two new offices. Smith and company, having considered other firms, make the move to Avison Young just as Cushman & Wakefield closes its merger with DTZ.

“We are thrilled to have the entire 82-member team on board,” Earl Webb, president, U.S. Operations of Avison Young, said in a prepared statement. “We will be able to draw from established office, healthcare, industrial, capital markets and retail brokerage units that are highly regarded in the state of Tennessee. Most importantly, our clients will benefit from a solid base of commercial property and project management services led by exceptional professionals who have worked tirelessly to enhance collaboration across all business lines.”

Avison Young just keeps going and going. Its moves this year include the opening of offices Indianapolis, Ind., and Minneapolis, Minn., and abroad in Hamburg and Düsseldorf, Germany. The firm also increased its presence by snapping up Pennsylvania’s Remington Group Inc. and Chicago’s Mesa Development L.L.C. Surely, there’s more to come.