Real estate investment advisory firm JLL has acquired the tenant-focused real estate brokerage Cresa South Florida in a deal meant to strengthen the Chicago-based company’s services in the region.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed and applies only to Cresa’s independently owned South Florida office.
The acquisition makes JLL the largest tenant representative in South Florida and will enhance JLL’s position in attracting and servicing clients, especially from Latin America.
As Latin American economies expanded, so has South Florida’s appeal to companies entering the United States and those planning to expand to Latin America. Aside from being Latin America’s U.S. gateway, Miami has become a global hot spot for inbound and outbound investment.
That in turn has fueled growth in the commercial real estate lease market, where Cresa and JLL were competitors. Both have multilingual employees.
Cresa South Florida had the largest market share of tenant representation in Miami-Dade County and was in the top three in Broward and Palm Beach counties, said JLL Florida market director Doug Irmscher.
“Together, we become the market leader in South Florida on the tenant rep side based on our data,” Irmscher said. “One of the attractions of Cresa South Florida obviously was their strength in the Miami market and with many of the companies with Latin American business.”
Cresa South Florida has long-term clients across the region including finance and banking, law, health care, education, tourism and professional services.
“We have a Who’s Who [client] list of global entities that have their Latin American bases in Miami,” said Cresa managing principal Alan Kleber, who chose not to disclose the clients.
Some of Cresa’s clients have included ClubMed, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Merrill Lynch, HBO Latin America and Cartier-Richmont Latin America & Caribbean, according to news reports.
JLL provides landlord and tenant representation, project and development services, capital markets, corporate solutions and property management. Its leasing and management portfolio in Florida has more than 28.6 million square feet, including 701 Brickell Ave. and the Southeast Financial Center in Miami.
In all, JLL has more than 230 offices, operates in 80 countries and provides real estate and management services for a portfolio of 3.4 billion square feet.
“Our partners made the decision to join JLL to give our professionals the opportunity to be part of a company that is recognized as the global gold standard in our industry and that shares our vision for serving clients in South Florida,” Kleber said. “We did not have that global footprint. That was very attractive to us for the merger.”
Kleber said the merger raises the ceiling for Cresa’s employees in terms of educational growth, promotional opportunities and intellectual challenges. He said the enthusiastic reaction from employees has been “very rewarding.”
Kleber and fellow Cresa principals David Preve, Barbara Liberatore Black, Charlie Barton, John Marshall, Matthew Cheezem, Glenn Olson and Matthew Goodman will join JLL’s 650 employees statewide, along with more than 20 other Cresa professionals.
Consolidation is a long-term trend in commercial real estate services, fueled by the investor and tenant demand to manage their real estate needs through full-service providers.