CBRE Buys Fameco, Expands Retail Presence in Greater Philadelphia Region

CBRE continues to increase its penetration of markets across the country with the acquisition of Fameco Real Estate, a leading, Philadelphia-based commercial real estate services firm specializing in retail and offering a reach across the Mid-Atlantic.
CBRE - Bob Walters

Robert Walters, of CBRE

CBRE Group Inc. continues to increase its penetration of markets across the country with the acquisition of Fameco Real Estate, a leading, Philadelphia-based commercial real estate services firm specializing in retail and offering a reach across the Mid-Atlantic.

Give the people what they want. “Everything we do with our business is client-focused  and it was clear to us that this merger was going to deliver to our most important clients–both institutional and private–exactly what they’re looking for in a real estate services provider,” Robert Walters, executive managing director, Philadelphia, for CBRE, told Commercial Property Executive.

CBRE is anything but a stranger to greater Philadelphia, but by uniting with Fameco, the company enhances the mix with a coveted ingredient. “As we began to enjoy our market leading position overall, we saw a gap, we saw a need on the retail brokerage front because our local business was mildly active in that area,” Walters said. “We saw an opportunity but we also saw a need [and we knew] if we truly want to be the retail market leader, we needed to fill that void and align ourselves with a great company like Fameco. Looking around at Fameco we immediately saw, like us, a premier company, market-leading within the retail brokerage space, and we saw culturally a potential fit.”

Fameco had been on CBRE’s radar for some time; the 21-year-old firm was hard to ignore. It has a premier reputation spanning Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, and a pool of service offerings that includes retailer representation, agency leasing, investment sales and land brokerage. So what started off as casual discussions between the companies led to more serious conversations over the last few months. Now the two have become one, with Fameco adding its specialized regional retail expertise to CBRE’s global platform.

And Fameco comes with something else in tow. The firm brings with it a leasing portfolio consisting of 250 shopping centers and retail properties accounting for 20 million square feet, and retail property management assignments totaling 20 million square feet. “One of the things that separated Fameco was not only their market leading brokerage capability but they also had a very significant market leading presence in property management of retail properties and shopping centers,” Walters added. “So that was really an accretive thing for us; to combine Fameco’s property management capability along with ours, it really made a lot of sense.”

When CBRE acquires firms in its expansion pursuits, more often than not, the new office does business as CBRE, but such is not the case with Fameco. The amalgamated firm plans to operate under the trade name of CBRE|FAMECO.

“The CBRE brand is a global brand, it’s very powerful, it’s well-known throughout the world and the Fameco brand is well-known within the retail space, not just in the Mid-Atlantic area but even beyond, driving a lot of business around the country,” Walters concluded. “So we really felt that the brand was important, it was valuable. Merging the CBRE brand with the Fameco brand, particularly with so many clients that were attracted to that Fameco brand, we definitely see it as a value add.”