TORONTO-Continuing an acquisition binge, locally-based AvisonYoung has acquired Atlanta-based Hodges Management and Leasing Co.,which handles a portfolio of about 19.3 million square feet inAtlanta, Tennessee and Florida. Avison took over Tysons Corner,VA-based Appian Realty Advisors LLC in early July.

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Mark Rose, chairman and CEO of Avison, tells GlobeSt.com thathis firm will continue to snatch up management companies in theUnited States this year. “We expect to continue to add major USmarkets. The next three on our plate are Los Angeles, New York Cityand Boston, and we may also add Dallas this year as well,” hesays.

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The 177-building acquisition boosts Avison’s managementportfolio to 50 million square feet of retail, industrial andoffice properties in Canada and the United States. The companyopened its first US-based office last year in Chicago, and hasfollowed with these new offices, as well as Washington, DC andHouston.

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Rose says the best way to grow is through acquisitions likethis, and he says he believes in the US-based people the companyhas brought on in the past year. Hodges’ seven principals willbecome principals of Avison, and the office will be rebrandedimmediately. “This is about giving people an opportunity to handlethe client first, and the shareholder second, and gaining apersonal viewpoint at the table by being a partner,” Rose says.

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Hodges was begun in 1958, and was owned by various firmsincluding Blackstone and ING Clarion. The company becameindependent again in late 2008.

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Rose says Avison will continue to grow despite a slow economythat has seen local and foreign investment pull away from Canada.As for the United States, Rose, the former CEO of Grubb &Ellis, says that he doesn’t see a double-dip recession coming.“Things are fairly positive, though there has been uncertainty inthe past three months in the global economy, and it’s uncertaintythat prohibits movement or rebuilding. We need to let the privatesector heal its own issues, we’re going to need to see somebankruptcies. I don’t see a recovery for the States until the backhalf of 2011.”

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