Office lease slow downs haven't hindered the Cushman & Wakefield team. While commercial property leasing still remains a major focus for the fully integrated real estate services firm throughout the world, the company's new president of U.S. operations has started to push the 84-year-old company in new directions.
Bruce E. Mosler, formerly C&W executive vice president, took on the newly created president position in September 2000 and stressed the company's future direction. "Industrial, as well as retail and technology, is a main focus point for our firm in 2001 and beyond," he says.
In October, C&W acquired Retail Development Partners, a New York
City-based real estate company. The ball had begun rolling.
Five months later, the company officially announced its goal to increase its retail services business and hired James S. Wassel, an experienced retail real estate executive, as national director, Retail Services. "We will utilize our national and global platform to service our new and existing leasing agency business, as well as our tenant representation assignments on the retail side," Wassel says. "We will aggressively seek to increase market share in the markets where we already service our clients in other property types."
In a similar move on the industrial side, Mosler brought a senior managing director, Industrial Services, on board: Pamela Zoellner, former vice president of Real Estate at GATX Logistics.
The firm has industrial brokerage operations throughout the United States, and includes among its clients in this area Fortune 500 companies, institutional owners, REITs, developers, and small and mid-sized firms. Cushman & Wakefield has extensive knowledge on and experience in industrial markets nationwide, and closely follows trends in such specific areas as telecom hotels, e-commerce fulfillment centers, manufacturing sites, warehouses, and distribution centers.
C&W has also taken a step deeper into technology than many of its competitors. Earlier this year, the firm contracted with Facilitypro.com, a builder and operator of private procurement marketplaces for the real estate industry, to deploy FacilityPro's sourcing solution to properties in the Cushman & Wakefield portfolio.
FacilityPro's procurement marketplace will give Cushman & Wakefield the capability to purchase thousands of maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) supplies from an extensive online supply network. Cushman & Wakefield also will gain access to business intelligence on maintenance, repair, and operations products used across properties, which can then be used to aggregate volume and provide Cushman & Wakefield clients with "significant bottom-line savings."
The initial agreement includes rollout of FacilityPro's eProcurement solution within 46 buildings managed by Cushman & Wakefield. (The Cushman & Wakefield portfolio includes multi-tenant office buildings as well as corporate owned and occupied buildings.) The initial rollout, which began in May, represents more than 26 million square feet of space across the country.
"Cushman & Wakefield is among the first in the real estate industry to offer an online procurement solution for its clients," says John Santora, executiv vice president and global head of Asset Services for Cushman & Wakefield.
C&W has 163 offices in 49 countries around the globe. It employs more than 10,000 real estate professionals, representing clients in buying, selling, financing, leasing, managing, and valuing assets. Additionally, it provides strategic planning and research, portfolio analysis, site selection, and space location services.