Strockis: u201cThe acquisition combines the best of residential and commercial association management.u201d

TUSTIN, has learned that Mar West Real Estate Inc. has been acquired by Aliso Viejo, CA-based Merit Property Management, an operating unit of Toronto-based FirstService Residential. The acquisition of the locally based commercial-property association-management services provider adds a total of 160 commercial property associations totaling more than 50 million square feet of office, industrial and medical properties to Merit’s client roster and expands the company’s offerings in the Western US. It also combines residential and commercial association management under one umbrella.

John Strockis, who has been promoted to CEO of Mar West, tells, “It’s really interesting that a successful small business such as Mar West did well in a very difficult economic climate—so much so that it was acquired by an international real estate services company with $2.5 billion in revenues. We’re so transaction oriented sometimes from a deal perspective that it’s newsworthy when you see how companies are repositioning themselves and finding new platforms to grow and expand. This acquisition combines the best of residential and commercial association management. We expect to grow organically as well through acquisitions in the Western US.”

Mar West was founded in 2003 by entrepreneurs April Buchner and Craig Stevens, who built it into a premier boutique commercial association-management firm. The company now manages roughly 1.2 billion square feet of commercial properties, which now combines with the 1.3 million residential units that FirstService has under management. FirstService is also one of the leading global players in commercial real estate brokerage through Colliers International.

“This powerful combination will not only take Mar West to the next level, but will provide another significant growth opportunity as we leverage our best practices and build value for FirstServices shareholders,” said Jay S. Hennick, founder and CEO of FirstService Corp., in a prepared statement.

Strockis tells that commercial-property association management, which deals with the formation of non-profit corporations to manage common areas in business condominiums, is a mom-and-pop industry that’s “very young and very green. Our intent is to be the premier provider of association-management services in the west and to transfer that platform to the East Coast over the next five years.”

As previously reported, in September 2011 Mar West expanded eastward, opening a new operation–and office—in Phoenix. The company hired Sharon Whitney to get things rolling in Sun Valley.