JLL Grows in California

JLL signed on to acquire a top project and construction management firm.

By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

JLL's Carlos Serra, Greg Holcomb, Martin Potts and Peter Belisle.
JLL’s Carlos Serra, Greg Holcomb, Martin Potts and Peter Belisle.

JLL has made yet another move in the strategic expansion of its national multi-service platform. The commercial real estate services firm just signed on to acquire Martin Potts & Associates Inc., a top project and construction management services firm in Southern California’s Orange County.

Working in the retail, hospitality, healthcare and office property sectors, MPA has evolved into a force in the Orange County area since its formation in 1991, and with an office in San Jose, the firm has established a notable footprint in Northern California as well. Coming along for the ride to JLL are company president Marty Potts, longtime MPA partner Greg Holcomb and nine other staff members. They’ll all serve to bolster JLL’s Project and Development Services team covering the Southwest region. JLL certainly has cause for expanding this group.

“Demand for JLL project management services has increased in recent years for several reasons,” Carlos Serra, a managing director with JLL, told Commercial Property Executive. Among those reasons are the varying workload clients are facing today and their need for a particular set of skills. Serra noted, “Since the workload ebbs and flows significantly, clients are finding it more cost effective to outsource this service. JLL uses a very sophisticated platform and infrastructure when it comes to delivering project management solutions. The value created using this model provides the client with far more expertise, benchmark data and brain power than could be provided by hiring in-house a single individual.”

JLL’s agreement to acquire MPA marks one of a handful of moves the firm has made to enhance its multi-service platform in California. Within the last 18 months, JLL has acquired Orange County-based CLEO Construction Management, which focuses on medical facilities; Wilson Retail Group, a retail brokerage and capital markets concern in Los Angeles; and retail property management firm Shelter Bay Retail Group, located in the San Francisco area. It’s a good time to reinforce a foothold in the Golden State.

“The market in California has seen tremendous growth in many sectors both in the public and private world,” Serra said. “Such high demand has also led to shortages in the general/trade contractor and supplier markets. In addition, price escalation has affected this market significantly particularly labor costs. Clients need project and development services to help control and mitigate the cost, quality and time risks which are under greater scrutiny in this type of market.”

JLL’s acquisition of MPA is on track to close this month.