"That thing is definitely going to happen," one source tellsGlobeSt.com, a notion supported by several other market observers.The Codman Co. was a portal through which dozens of the region'stop commercial real estate professionals passed during theirascension into the industry, but the firm has been diminished overthe past 20 years by a series of departures and ownership changesand the arrival of national players on the scene. Although longtimeprincipal Lawrence Bianchi remains on board as chairman emeritus,most of the company's leadership has moved on, with the latestchange occurring in 2004 when owner Paul Simard was bought out andreplaced by several new principals, many of whom remain onboard.

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Among the professionals taking an ownership position were JamesBelli, David Campbell and Steve Prozinski. Repeated calls toProzinski, Campbell and other Codman officials this week were notreturned, but Prozinski did previously dismiss the notion that asale was "imminent," as one source had claimed. An NKF spokespersondeclined to discuss the matter at all when offered severalopportunities to refute the reports. Despite the silence, however,the rumors of a deal continue to reverberate throughout the market,even leading several tracking the situation to insist that anagreement is already in place. "It's done," claimed one suchsource.

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If the sale were to occur, it would likely be the end of theCodman name in Boston and dwindle local ownership to a handful ofcommercial real estate companies such as NAI Commercial Co.Observers maintain that NKF would benefit from both Codman'sproperty management portfolio and its stable of brokerage talent,including such professionals as Christopher Curley, Drew Nelson andThomas Powers. And while the autonomy of Codman would no longer bethere, staffers would be able to take advantage of NKF's globalplatform similar to that found at local competitors such as CBRichard Ellis, Cushman & Wakefield and Jones Lang LaSalle. Thatinternational networking has been a big reason other firms havecited when being taken over by outside competitors.

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