“It’s a clean sheet of paper.”
That’s how James Becker describes the new Detroit office opened by independent commercial real estate services company Avison Young.
Becker, who up until last month had worked with Jones Lang LaSalle, is now the principal and managing director of Avison Young’s Detroit office, the 18th office that the firm has opened outside of its home base in Canada.
Becker, who’s worked in commercial real estate for 28 years, said that he’s looking forward to the challenge of establishing Avison Young in this key Midwest city.
“I spent 11 of my years in commercial real estate running from Detroit the Michigan practice of Jones Lang LaSalle. This will be a bit of an instant replay in terms of taking on markets that I am familiar with,” Becker said. “I’m looking forward to rekindling the growth strategies in those markets.”
The new office is also good news for Detroit. The city receives a lot of negative press. But officials with Avison Young think enough of the market to establish a strong presence there.
Becker pointed to several reasons for Avison Young’s interest in the city. The city remains a top population center in the United States, he said. It features strong infrastructure and a large labor pool.
Then there’s the resurgence of the automotive industry, something that Becker says will drive future growth in Detroit.
“Avison Young wants to be in key markets,” Becker said. “Detroit is a key U.S. market.”
Detroit is not the only new market that Avison Young has opened recently. During the past three-and-a-half years, Avison Young has grown from 11 to 38 offices in 32 markets. It has also boosted its staff from 300 to more than 1,000 real estate professionals in Canada and the United States.
“Opening an office in Detroit is an important part of our strategy to establish a strong presence in key markets throughout the U.S.,” said Mark Rose, chairman and chief executive officer of Avison Young, in a written statement. “Jim has been the trusted adviser to a number of America’s largest corporations during his career, and we are thrilled that he has joined our team to help us build our business in several key Midwest markets.”
— Dan Rafter