JLL Sets Footprint in Portland with Acquisition of Cresa Office

The global real estate firm is buying Cresa Portland, the city's leading tenant representation firm.
Buzz Ellis, JLL

Buzz Ellis, JLL

It looks like Christmas shopping has started early for real estate companies this week.

While Avison Young announced the purchase of two companies in Florida, JLL is expanding in Portland. The global real estate firm is buying Cresa Portland, the city’s leading tenant representation firm.

The merger, which is said to close shortly, will unite Cresa Portland’s Founder and Managing Principal Craig Reinhart, Managing Principal Chris Elsenbach and 11 other employees with JLL’s 150-person team, which provides tenant representation, capital markets, project and development services, corporate solutions and property management, according to a news release. JLL now manages close to 7 million square feet of space in the largest city of Oregon. Reinhart and Elsenback are said to work closely with Buzz Elliss, who leads JLL’s Portland office.

“We respected Cresa Portland as a competitor with a focus on representing companies and in-depth knowledge about the Portland market,” Ellis told Commercial Property Executive. “We thought that combining their strong Portland platform with JLL’s local and global services on this shared cultural base would be good for our clients and for our people.”

Craig Reinhart

Craig Reinhart, Cresa Portland

Cresa Portland, founded by Craig Reinhart in 1993, has expanded into the city’s leading tenant representation firm that provides relocation management, project management and global portfolio management services to corporate clients in the tech and venture-backed growth sectors.

“The opportunity to join JLL allows us to retain our exclusive corporate focus and engagement with our clients while providing them access to a broader suite of services,” Reinhart said in the release.

Portland, with an estimated popultaion of 609,456, is said to be the 29th most populous city in the United States and a significant market real estate-wise.

According to a Marcus & Millichap’s 2014 third-quarter office report, above-average employment growth is encouraging office users to expand operations in Portland, which will pull vacancy into the low-10 percent range this year and encourage builders to press forward with new projects in the urban core. The rising demand is renewing confidence among office developers, encouraging them to expand the speculative construction pipeline. As vacancy tightens, owners will lift average asking rents 2.8 percent to $20.72 per square foot in 2014, 1.6 percent above the pre-recession peak. Last year, asking rents rose 1.4 percent, per the report.

“Companies are taking more space than in the past, tech is strong, access to capital is improving and development is accelerating,” Ellis added.  “This is a great time to create an even more powerful real estate machine.”