by Dan Rafter
Last week, Midwest Real Estate News met with Jeffrey Rinkov, chief executive officer of Lee & Associates. During this meeting, Rinkov said that mergers and consolidations remain a hot trend in the commercial real estate world.
As if on cue, CBRE Group earlier this week announced that it had acquired U.S. Equities Realty, LLC, one of the most-active real estate firms in Chicago.
“Consolidations continue to generate major news in our industry,” Rinkov told Midwest Real Estate News last week. “And I don’t see that trend ending any time soon. That’s the nature right now of our business.”
In the CBRE/U.S. Equities move, both companies will now combine their Chicago-area operations. This is a significant acquisition on CBRE’s part: U.S. Equities leases and manages about 17 million square feet of properties in Chicago, including some of the city’s iconic buildings. This includes the Willis Tower — better known still to Chicagoans as the Sears Tower, the John Hancock Center, Harold Washington Library and Millennium Park. The company’s U.S. portfolio includes more than 500 properties across the office, retail, institutional, dormitory and residential sectors.
“With today’s announcement, we are re-defining excellence in Chicago real estate services,” said Chris Connelly, executive managing director for the Chicago region of CBRE. “We’re bringing together two of Chicago’s most highly regarded and successful firms.”
U.S. Equities was founded in 1978. And its top officials said that they were excited about joining CBRE.
“Throughout our 36-year history, U.S. Equities has aggressively pursued every opportunity to anticipate the changing needs of our clients,” said Bob Wislow, chairman and chief executive officer of U.S. Equities. “CBRE’s global platform along with its extensive service offering and broad expertise will expand and enhance our ability to serve clients.”
U.S. Equities principals Camille Julmy and Nancy Pacher join CBRE Chicago as vice chairmen. U.S. Equities’ Katie Scott and Marty Stern will join CBRE as senior managing directors. Wislow will serve as chairman of CBRE Chicago. In all, U.S. Equities boasts about 400 commercial real estate professionals in Chicago.