Mark E. Rose, Chair and CEO of Avison Young, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Miami, Florida-based commercial real estate brokerage and property management firm Abood Wood-Fay Real Estate Group, LLC (doing business as Colliers International South Florida).
Subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close within 30 days.
The purchase will further expand Avison Young’s business-line coverage in South Florida and throughout the state. The change in ownership is expected to add 70 employees from Abood Wood-Fay Real Estate Group’s Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach offices to Avison Young’s operations in South Florida.
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Upon closing of the transaction, Michael Fay and Donna Abood will become Principals of Avison Young and Managing Directors of Avison Young’s Miami office. They will focus on overseeing the growth and development of Avison Young’s presence in the Miami region, servicing new and existing clients, and managing the day-to-day operations of the office. They are both 30-year commercial real estate veterans and Chairs and founding partners of Abood Wood-Fay Real Estate Group.
John Crotty, Executive Vice-President of Abood Wood-Fay Real Estate Group, will also serve as a Principal of Avison Young.
As a result of the acquisition, Avison Young will assume a significant leasing and investment sales portfolio, bringing Avison Young’s total square feet of leasing and investment sales property under representation to 20 million square feet (msf) throughout Florida. In addition, Avison Young will assume Abood Wood-Fay Real Estate Group’s property management portfolio, bringing Avison Young’s total square feet of properties under management to 11 msf in Florida and more than 70 msf across Canada and the U.S.
“We look forward to welcoming Abood Wood-Fay Real Estate Group to Avison Young,” comments Rose. “This strategic acquisition will give Avison Young an even broader client-service platform in the Florida market as we continue to expand our capabilities throughout the U.S. and overseas.”
Rose continues: “Donna has a reputation as one of the most trusted and highly recognized names in South Florida real estate, and Michael is known as a business development rainmaker on a national level. Their company’s 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 Florida and the U.S. Southeast. This team will be a tremendous addition to our company.”
Abood and Fay simultaneously began their respective firms in 1989. Before becoming Colliers International South Florida, the firm known as Abood Wood-Fay Real Estate Group was formed when two local, well-established firms – Abood & Associates, Inc. and Wood-Fay Realty Group, Inc. – merged. Abood & Associates, Inc. was a full-service real estate firm providing leasing, sales, property management and construction services in South Florida. Wood-Fay Realty Group, Inc. was a highly specialized commercial real estate brokerage firm providing commercial and investment property sales and advisory services for clients. The merger was a logical progression as the principals of the firms realized the synergies possible if the companies combined as one. In 2005, Abood Wood-Fay took the next step in its commitment to servicing clients by joining the Colliers International team and becoming Colliers Abood Wood-Fay. In 2010, the firm participated in a global rebranding and officially became Colliers International South Florida.
“Avison Young has had a focus on building our business throughout Florida for several years, and until now, we hadn’t found the right fit for us in the critically important Miami market,” states Earl Webb, Avison Young’s President, U.S. Operations. “The Abood Wood-Fay Real Estate Group team members, with their extensive base of experience, broad client relationships and excellent market presence, provide us with the perfect platform to add to our burgeoning Florida business. Donna, Michael and John will combine their experience with Pike Rowley and our other Florida principals to give our clients even more experienced resources to help with the complex execution of their real estate requirements and strategy.”
Avison Young opened its first Florida offices in October 2012 in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and Miami with Rowley joining as a Principal and Managing Director. In May 2013, Avison Young acquired WG Compass Realty Cos. and opened a West Palm Beach office. In September 2013, Avison Young acquired Lane Witherspoon & Carswell Commercial Real Estate Advisors and opened a new office in Tampa.
“Avison Young has been seeking to expand in the Miami-Dade market in a big way since opening our first office in Florida 24 months ago,” notes Rowley. “We have been patient in wanting the best-of-class service providers in this region who are home-grown, take a leadership role, and are deeply rooted in the community. We have found just that team with Abood Wood-Fay Real Estate Group.”
He continues: “I have known and transacted business with Donna and Michael for more than 25 years and could not be more excited to team up with them as we grow Avison Young into one of the strongest service providers in the state. With the addition of this team, we will have a total of 170 dedicated professionals statewide and a strong presence in every major city in Florida. As a result, we will be able to better serve clients in the office, industrial, retail and multi-family sectors.”
Over the past five-and-a-half years, Avison Young has grown from 11 to 60 offices and from 300 to more than 1,600 real estate professionals in Canada, the U.S. and Europe.
Today’s announcement comes on the heels of Avison Young opening an office in Cleveland, Ohio on September 23, 2014 and the firm acquiring New Jersey-based asset management firm Kwartler Associates on September 18, 2014.