JLL Buys Houston’s Means Knaus Partners

Jones Lang LaSalle has acquired Means Knaus Partners, a property management company headquartered in Houston with about 16 million square feet of office space under management, primarily in Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Orlando and Tampa.
John Gates, of JLL

John Gates, of JLL

Jones Lang LaSalle, of Chicago, has acquired Means Knaus Partners, a property management company headquartered in Houston and with about 16 million square feet of office space under management, primarily in Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Orlando and Tampa, the two companies announced earlier today. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

JLL described the acquisition as “a strategic move to aggressively expand its industry-leading third-party property management expertise.”

MKP was founded as a private real estate investment and management company in 1998 by Steve Means and Doug Knaus, who had earlier worked together at the Paragon Group. The company manages 80 prime office assets throughout the United States.

Knaus, the CEO of MKP, will join JLL as an international director; Robert Nowak, MKP’s chief operating officer, will become a JLL managing director; and the nearly 100 other MKP employees will also join JLL.

The acquisition will boost JLL’s market share as a property manager. The company already holds No. 1 positions in Chicago’s CBD and in Denver and is No. 2 in the Chicago suburbs. With the MKP addition, JLL will also hold the No. 1 position in Orlando and the No. 2 slot for third-party management in Los Angeles County.

Among the buildings that MKP manages are One California Plaza, 600 Wilshire and the Aon Center in Los Angeles; 300 South Riverside Plaza in Chicago’s West Loop; Park Central in Denver; and the SunTrust Center in Orlando.

In an exclusive interview this afternoon with Commercial Property Executive, Knaus and John Gates, president of Jones Lang LaSalle’s National Real Estate Services, discussed how the companies hooked up and why this is a good fit.

The courtship started last summer, Gates said, and was mostly driven, at least initially, by the regard that JLL had for its sometimes competitor.

“Their reputation has for a long time been just top-notch” in terms of MKP’s people, clients, assets and relationships, he said. Gates called MKP “a great business that has a strong place in the industry.”

Knaus, of MKP

Doug Knaus, of MKP

From the MKP side, Knaus said, they had obviously long been familiar with JLL and the Staubach Co. ,which JLL acquired in 2008. He called JLL “the premier real estate services company in the world.”

Knaus said he particularly values JLL’s culture of collaborative management and commitment to client services. Some of MKP’s client relationships go back about 30 years, before the company took its current name and form, he said, and he looks forward to extending those through JLL’s capabilities.

Recalling his former colleague and MKP’s co-founder, Steve Means, who died in 2005, Knaus said, “Steve would be very proud of what has happened.”