Avison Young Says Hello to Minneapolis

Check the Twin Cities off the list. Continuing its rapid U.S. expansion, Avison Young has entered the Minneapolis-St. Paul market.
Mark Rose, Avison Young

Mark Rose, Avison Young

Check the Twin Cities off the list. Continuing its rapid U.S. expansion, Avison Young has entered the Minneapolis-St. Paul market with the opening of an office in Minneapolis.

Per its usual routine, Avison Young has tapped a top local industry player to spearhead the establishment and growth of its newest office.

“We continue to be the platform of choice as top professionals seek out the only private, principal-led, global, full service collaborative platform in the industry,” Mark Rose, Chair & CEO of Avison Young, told Commercial Property Executive.

Mark Evenson, a 30-year veteran of the business who most recently held the position of managing director with commercial real estate services firm DTZ, has come aboard as principal and managing director of the Minneapolis office.

Evenson is joined by Tom Hoffman, formerly of Victory Tenant Partners, who will work with Kate Gillette, a former colleague of Evenson’s at DTZ, to develop Avison Young’s practice, with a focus on office and industrial clients.

Avison Young isn’t just closing its eyes and picking cities where it hasn’t yet set up shop. The firm had ample reason for entering Minneapolis. As noted in Avison Young’s press release, Minneapolis is the second largest economic center in the Midwest, and the greater seven-county metropolitan statistical area it inhabits–which includes St. Paul, Bloomington, Minn., and parts of Wisconsin–is the 15th largest MSA in the country. Avison Young goes on to point out that Minneapolis/St. Paul is also home to 13 colleges as well as 19 Fortune 500 companies and 27 Fortune 1000 businesses.

And since jobs drive the commercial real estate market, Minneapolis should certainly be on a commercial real estate service’s firm’s radar. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA closed 2014 with a 3.3 percent unemployment rate–the lowest in the entire country.

The new office also marks Avison Young’s entrée into Minnesota, bringing the firm’s national footprint to 44 states, and strengthening its notable Midwest presence, which includes offices in Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and Columbus. However, for 2015 at least, the firm’s ongoing growth spurt isn’t necessarily centered on new territory.

“Avison Young continues to be strategic and opportunistic as it relates to its expansion plans. 2015 is mostly about expanding existing locations, although you will see a few more Canadian, U.S. and European offices open,” Rose added.

Regardless, Avison Young continues to hold the distinction of being the world’s fastest-growing commercial real estate services firm. Its list of activities in the final quarter of 2014 alone included the expansion to continental Europe with the opening of an office in Frankfurt, Germany; its debut in Orlando through the acquisition of Morrison Commercial Real Estate; and the expansion of its business-line coverage in South Florida with the acquisition of Miami-based brokerage and property management firm Abood Wood-Fay Real Estate Group, an affiliate of Colliers International.

As for the concept of growing too fast, well, Avison Young has no intention of putting on the brakes. Rose concluded, “We are the fastest-growing commercial real estate services firm because we are the home of choice to top talent. Given our thorough review process, not all professionals meet our standards or fit our culture. However, when top talent does pass our cultural filter, we execute in an effective and expeditious manner. ‘Too fast’ is never an issue when the right people are getting on our bus.”