Leading Canadian commercial real estate firm to open two new offices in North Carolina;
John Linderman to become Principal and Managing Director, Raleigh-Durham
TORONTO, Oct. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - Mark E. Rose, Chair and CEO of Avison Young, Canada's largest independently-owned commercial real estate services company, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Raleigh, NC-based Thomas Linderman Graham Inc., a full-service commercial real estate services company. The transaction is expected to close in two weeks.
The acquisition will further expand Avison Young's market and business-line coverage in the Southeast U.S. The change in ownership will add 61 employees to Avison Young's operations (including eight new Principals), and new offices in Raleigh and Chapel Hill, NC. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
The two newest American offices will together represent Avison Young's 19th market (Raleigh-Durham) outside of Canada and an additional step in the firm's ongoing aggressive growth and expansion strategy.
Over the past three and a half years, Avison Young has grown from 11 to, what will soon be, 40 offices in 33 markets and from 300 to more than 1,100 real estate professionals across Canada and the U.S.
John Linderman (President and COO of Thomas Linderman Graham), Rex Thomas (CEO of Thomas Linderman Graham), Jack Graham, Lee Clyburn, William Allen, Arnold Siegmund, Gina Ide and Elizabeth Gates will join Avison Young as Principals.
Linderman will also become Managing Director of the Raleigh-Durham (also known as the Triangle region) offices. He will focus on overseeing the growth and development of Avison Young's presence in North Carolina, as well as servicing new and existing clients and managing the day-to-day operations of the offices.
Meanwhile, Thomas, Clyburn, Allen and Siegmund will join as transaction professionals; Graham will handle the administrative functions of the office; Ide will be responsible for property management; and Gates will oversee research and marketing.
"This latest expansion reflects the strong emphasis that Avison Young places on partnering with companies that employ a client-centric business approach in order to deliver the highest-quality service," comments Rose. "Thomas Linderman Graham is team-driven and client-focused, and will help us grow our business throughout the important markets in North Carolina where many key clients - including strategic occupiers, users and global investors - are headquartered."
Rose continues: "Thomas Linderman Graham's senior-level talent, who now become our partners, have deep relationships in the North Carolina business community. Couple those ties with our Avison Young platform and we will be able to expand our presence in North Carolina and even better serve Thomas Linderman Graham's clients going forward. Thomas Linderman Graham is very well respected and a true market leader in the growing Raleigh-Durham market. We couldn't be more pleased to have this team on board."
Today's announcement comes on the heels of Avison Young opening an office in Detroit earlier this week, the acquisition of New Jersey-based project management firm, The Walsh Company, LLC, and the opening of three offices in South Florida last week. Since April, the company has also opened new offices in New York, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Charleston, SC, New Jersey, and a third office in Los Angeles.
Thomas Linderman Graham (formerly doing business as Grubb & Ellis|Thomas Linderman Graham) is one of the Triangle's leading providers of integrated real estate services. With offices in Raleigh and Chapel Hill, the sales organization is among the largest in the region, offering the following services: landlord and tenant representation; asset and property management; investment and building sales; land acquisitions and sales; corporate consulting; finance and accounting; and development consulting and construction management.
Awards and recognitions include: Fast 50 Award Winner - Triangle Business Journal, 2007, 2008 and 2011; First Place, Triangle Office Lease - Triangle Business Journal's 2010 Space Awards; Grubb & Ellis Affiliate of the Year, 2009; Named One of the Top 100 Small Businesses in North Carolina - Business Leader Magazine, 2009; Pinnacle Award Winner - Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, 2006; Champion Award, Most Creative Advertising/Marketing Program - Triangle Commercial Real Estate Women, 2005; First Place, Triangle Office Lease - Triangle Business Journal's 2004 Space Awards; First Place, Triangle Flex Lease - Triangle Business Journal's 2004 Space Awards.
"Thomas Linderman Graham has a broad, diversified business in the Raleigh-Durham region and will add a key component to our company in the Southeast U.S.," states Earl Webb, Avison Young's President, U.S. Operations. "John Linderman, Rex Thomas, Jack Graham and their partners have built a first-class business and they are extremely well regarded by their clients. Additionally, their culture of collaboration, excellence and focus on strategy will merge well with Avison Young's similar culture, and allow us to attract additional high-quality professionals throughout the Carolinas as well as throughout the Southeast U.S."
Also joining Avison Young will be Thomas Linderman Graham brokers Chester Allen, Braxton Anthony, Bill Aucoin, Curteis Calhoun, Janet Clayton, Carlo DiGiorgio, Bryan Everett, Rich Gernand, Gary Hill, Jake Jones, Jim McMillan, Dave Mester, Carlton Midyette, Jeff Solomon, Michael Vulpis, Cheshire Webb and Matt Winters.
"This is an incredibly exciting time for us. After much research, review and many conversations, we sought out Avison Young and realized that there were significant synergies between ourselves and our new partners," says Linderman. "Avison Young represents a culture, a high level of client focus and a commitment to superior services that mirrors our own. Aligning with Avison Young will empower us to even better serve both our clients and our internal team members."
"I am very excited about our future with Avison Young, and I look forward to helping build a truly world-class real estate organization," states Thomas. "To be teaming up with the fastest-growing real estate company in North America, and to be able to contribute our knowledge and experience to its growth and success, will be very rewarding. I believe our team will bring tremendous value to the company as a result of our success in the Triangle."
Avison Young's new North Carolina offices will be located at: Arena Centre, 1511 Sunday Drive, Suite 200, Raleigh; and Europa Center, 100 Europa Drive, Suite 190, Chapel Hill. Both offices will be re-branded Avison Young.
"One of the things that was important to us in aligning with a new partner was keeping our company intact, with our same brokerage, management and leadership teams still in place," adds Graham. "We are the same company our clients have grown to know and trust, but with a new brand and a stronger international industry leader. We look forward to joining our new colleagues across the U.S. and Canada, and introducing Avison Young's Principal-led, client-centric service model to our clients."
Linderman and team will work closely with Steve Dils, Avison Young Principal and Managing Director of the Atlanta office, as the company looks to further expand in North Carolina.
Notes Dils: "We are very pleased that the partners of Thomas Linderman Graham have decided to merge their very impressive and successful firm with Avison Young. I have known the partners at Thomas Linderman Graham for a number of years and have developed a deep respect for how they have built their firm and the service that they provide to their clients. We think this is a perfect match of cultures and talent, which continues our impressive growth across North America and gives us a significant presence in North Carolina."
The Raleigh-Durham region, more commonly referred to as the Triangle, spans an area of approximately 3,480 miles and consists of seven counties. Population growth has been explosive in recent years, consistently placing the Triangle among the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the nation. The region is anchored by Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. Centrally located among the three cities is the world-renowned, 7,000-acre Research Triangle Park (RTP), a well-established and globally prominent high-technology research and development center that serves as an economic driver for the area.
The Triangle area is characterized by a highly educated and diverse work force, due in large part to the location of three of the nation's top research universities within a 15-mile area: Duke University, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University. The State of North Carolina is the Triangle's largest employer, providing the region with a significant level of stability in its employment base. The region also is home to a large number of high tech, health care, pharmaceutical, biotech, financial and service industries, with 170 of the world's top research organizations just a few minutes' drive from one another. Extensive research and development - about two billion dollars' worth annually - is conducted at the three major universities, federal laboratories and contract research organizations. Close collaboration exists among businesses, academia and governments, fostering creativity and innovation.
Thomas Linderman Graham's roots date back to 1978 when Highwoods Properties was founded. J. Rex Thomas was a partner at Highwoods Properties for 17 years and helped to take the company public as a Real Estate Investment Trust in 1994. He then purchased its third-party services business, forming Thomas Commercial Inc. in 1997. John B. Linderman, Jr. founded Vector Properties in 1994. In 1997, the company was among the first in the nation to join the Grubb & Ellis affiliate program, becoming Grubb & Ellis|Vector. In 2000, Thomas and Linderman merged to form Grubb & Ellis|Thomas Linderman. The late Frank H. Kenan created Graham Associates, Ltd. in 1993. Jack Graham joined Graham Associates in 1996. Graham Associates and Grubb & Ellis|Thomas Linderman merged in 2005, forming Grubb & Ellis|Thomas Linderman Graham.
John Linderman, Jr.
John Linderman brings 27 years of commercial real estate experience to Avison Young. After spending his first nine years in the industry with a local developer, he formed Vector Properties in the Triangle market in 1994. Following two successful mergers, the company became known as Grubb & Ellis|Thomas Linderman Graham, where Linderman most recently served as President and COO. Over the years, the company established itself as one of the largest and most successful full-service commercial real estate firms in the Triangle market.
Prior to beginning his career in commercial real estate, Linderman served as an industrial development representative for the North Carolina Department of Commerce and as Executive Director of the Cary (NC) Chamber of Commerce. During both his economic development career and his commercial real estate career, he has been responsible for the recruitment of many new industries and businesses to the state of NC. Before embarking on these careers, Linderman served in the United States Marine Corps from 1973 to 1981. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Gardner-Webb University as well as the SIOR designation. Linderman has been recognized six times as a national top performer with the Grubb & Ellis Circle of Excellence Award, and has been recognized by his peers with the top local award in commercial real estate - the Pillar Award. He has served as President of the Cary Rotary Club and as President of the Triangle Area YMCA Board of Directors.
At Avison Young, Rex Thomas will serve as a key member of the Raleigh-Durham brokerage team. A 33-year commercial industry veteran, he was instrumental in the development of Highwoods Properties' position as the Triangle's leader in office space. During his career, he has overseen the consummation of several thousand lease and sales transactions. He was involved in taking Highwoods public in 1994 and formed Highwoods Forsyth Brokerage in 1995 to handle the company's third-party services. Thomas acquired Highwoods Forsyth Brokerage in 1996, changing the name to Thomas Commercial Inc. Following two successful mergers, the company became known as Grubb & Ellis|Thomas Linderman Graham, where Thomas most recently served as CEO.
In addition to these accomplishments, Thomas served as a founding director of Capital Bank and sat on its corporate board between 1997 and 2009. He also chairs the committee that oversees local market surveys published quarterly by Triangle Business Journal, and is an active member of the Greater Raleigh, Durham and Cary chambers of commerce. He serves as chairman of the Research Triangle Park Service Center and also holds executive and board positions with Campbell University; Christian Library International; and the Occoneechee Council of the Boy Scouts of America, which is based in Raleigh and serves youth in 12 North Carolina counties. Thomas holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Campbell University as well as the SIOR and Certified Property Manager® designations.
John (Jack) Graham
At Avison Young, Jack Graham will be responsible for overall management of the company's administrative functions (including finance/accounting, human resources and information technology) for the Triangle region's offices. He joined Thomas Linderman Graham in 2005 and has served in various administrative capacities as asset manager, broker and head of the Chapel Hill office. Since 1996, Graham has also served as President of Graham Associates Ltd., originally a Kenan-family leasing and property management firm. He will also continue to serve as the primary real estate consultant for the property portfolio within the Frank H. Kenan (1988) Trust, a position he has held since 1993.
Graham entered the workforce in 1974 in Baltimore as a commercial loan officer at Union Trust Company of Maryland, specializing in corporate loan underwriting and cash management. In 1984, the North Carolina native returned to the Raleigh-Durham region and continued his finance career at Wachovia Bank, reaching the level of Vice-President and Corporate Banking Manager. While he served in these positions, his primary responsibilities were commercial mortgage underwriting and new business development. He continues to serve as a Director of Wachovia's Chapel Hill advisory board. Graham is also a former Managing Partner of Landfall Associates, developer of the Landfall community in Wilmington, NC. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Baltimore.
Lee Clyburn specializes in office and laboratory leasing. During his 15-year career, he has managed more than $300 million in leases for Triangle-area clients and enabled a wide range of professional service firms, technology companies and non-profit organizations to achieve their commercial real estate goals. Prior to joining Thomas Linderman Graham in 1997, Clyburn served as Director of Economic Development for the Microelectronics Center of North Carolina in Research Triangle Park for two years. From 1993 to 1996, he served as the chief lobbyist for the North Carolina Department of Commerce. Clyburn has more than 10 years of economic development and legislative experience, and has worked with numerous organizations in promoting both the region and North Carolina. He helped write the state government's first strategic economic development plan and helped create legislation regarding North Carolina's incentives for relocating companies. He has served on several statewide boards and commissions appointed by past governors and state treasurers.
Clyburn holds a Bachelor's degree from North Carolina State University and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also holds the SIOR designation. Clyburn is active with such community groups as Arts Together, Follow the Child Montessori School, the National Eagle Scout Association and Hayes Barton United Methodist Church.
William Allen brings 17 years of commercial real estate experience to Avison Young. During his career, he has completed more than $300 million in transaction volume and has been responsible for a property portfolio of more than 3 million square feet (msf) of office space. His specialty is class A office and institutional markets, and he has completed transactions on behalf of such notable clients as Sun Life, Wells Fargo, Progress Energy, BlackRock and John Hancock, among others. He is consistently ranked among the top office brokers in the Triangle. Prior to joining Thomas Linderman Graham in 1998, Allen served as Director of Leasing for the Raleigh office of Daniel Corporation. He entered the commercial real estate industry in 1995 as a leasing and marketing representative for Spectrum Properties.
Allen holds a Bachelor's degree from North Carolina State University as well as the SIOR designation. He is a member of the Triangle Commercial Association of Realtors® and past president and board member of the Triangle Area Building Association. Allen serves on the Triangle Alumni Board for Woodberry Forest School and is an active member of White Memorial Presbyterian Church and BSF International.
Arnold Siegmund will specialize in office leasing for Avison Young in the Durham and Chapel Hill markets. He brings 18 years of commercial real estate sales, leasing and marketing experience in the Triangle market to the firm. Prior to joining Avison Young, he spent 14 years with Grubb & Ellis|Thomas Linderman Graham. Before joining this amalgamated company in 1998, he sold office systems furniture in the Triangle market for six years.
During his real estate career, Siegmund has worked with a wide range of companies, enabling each business to develop solutions and achieve its goals. He has built long-term relationships with corporate executives and small business owners. Past and current clients include Wachovia Bank, Insomniac Games, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of North Carolina, Bank of America, SciQuest Inc., Rambus, Inc., Coastal Federal Credit Union, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Duke University. Siegmund holds a Bachelor's degree in business management from North Carolina State University.
Gina Ide is a Certified Property Manager® with more than 25 years of commercial and corporate real estate experience. At Avison Young, she will be responsible for leading the company's Raleigh-Durham property management team. From tenant retention to maintenance, she will oversee the business plans that build asset value and help clients reach their ownership objectives. Prior to joining Thomas Linderman Graham in 2001, Ide served as Vice-President of Business Development and as Asset Manager for The DESCO Group in St. Louis, Missouri. She has managed institutional assets for such owners as Travelers, Paragon/Insignia, Sun Life of Canada, RREEF, Great West, Liberty Mutual and Lincoln National, as well as the portfolios of many private investors. She is experienced in a broad range of commercial properties, including class A highrise and suburban office buildings, multi-use development, retail, warehouse and light industrial.
Ide's corporate real estate background includes asset management of real estate assets for one of St. Louis' largest employers with more than 11 msf of corporate and retail real estate. During her career, Ide has had direct responsibility for the property management of more than 15 msf of investment real estate. She has performed due diligence on more than 20 commercial properties, supporting the acquisition of more than 2 msf of real estate. Ide graduated Magna Cum Laude with Bachelor of Arts degrees in public policy sciences and religion from Duke University.
Elizabeth Gates will oversee all aspects of the marketing and research functions for Avison Young's new Raleigh-Durham offices, including an extensive portfolio of more than 300 property listings. Her responsibilities will include the creation and placement of advertising and marketing materials, drafting and dissemination of press releases, planning of special events, and tracking and analysis of the local commercial real estate market. She will also work closely with the company's real estate brokers on marketing strategies and new business development efforts.
Prior joining Thomas Commercial Inc. in 1998, Gates served as marketing co-ordinator in the New York City office of public relations firm Manning Selvage and Lee. She also serves on the board that oversees one of the region's most well-known market surveys, published quarterly by Triangle Business Journal. Recognized both locally and nationally for her reporting on the Triangle commercial real estate market, Gates holds an Associate of Arts degree from William Peace University and a Bachelor's degree in speech communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is active with such industry groups as the Triangle Commercial Association of Realtors and Tacquire, and is a founding member of the board of directors for Raleigh-based Friends Unite.
In February, Avison Young was named a winner of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies program for 2011, sponsored by Deloitte, CIBC, National Post and Queen's School of Business.
Founded in 1978, Avison Young is Canada's largest independently-owned commercial real estate services company. Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Avison Young is also the largest Canadian-owned, principal-managed commercial real estate brokerage firm in North America. Comprising more than 1,100 real estate professionals in 40 offices across Canada and the U.S., the full-service commercial real estate company provides value-added, client-centric investment sales, leasing, advisory, management, financing and mortgage placement services to owners and occupiers of office, retail, industrial and multi-residential properties.
•Editors/Reporters: please click on links to view and download head shots of John Linderman, Rex Thomas, Jack Graham, Lee Clyburn, William Allen, Arnold Siegmund, Gina Ide, Elizabeth Gates
For further information/comment/photos:
• Sherry Quan, National Director of Communications & Media Relations, Avison Young:
(604) 647-5098; cell: (604) 726-0959
• Mark Rose, Chair and CEO, Avison Young: (416) 673-4028
• Earl Webb, President, U.S. Operations, Avison Young: (312) 957-7610
• John Linderman, Principal and Managing Director, Raleigh-Durham, Avison Young:
(919) 420- 1559; cell: (919) 612-3000
Avison Young's new North Carolina offices will be located at:
Arena Centre, 1511 Sunday Drive, Suite 200, Raleigh, NC, 27607, (919)785-3434
Europa Center, 100 Europa Drive, Suite 190, Chapel Hill, NC, 27517, (919) 968-4017
Avison Young is a winner of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies program for 2011, sponsored by Deloitte, CIBC, National Post and Queen's School of Business
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