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DALLAS-A Cushman & Wakefield of Texas Inc. hire to expand its asset services division has jumpstarted his strategy by securing an 800,000-sf distribution holding in the metroplex suburb of Desoto.

James L. Mertz Jr., the former senior vice president for Mack-Cali Realty Corp.’s southwest region, tells GlobeSt.com that the contract is just one of many in the pipeline to beef up the asset services portfolio for the short- and long-term strategy. Mertz says he wants to spike business by 30% annually for the next five years. The asset services portfolio now totals nine million sf of property and facility management pacts for 63 DFW structures, primarily in the office sector. The newest signing hails a focus on the Dallas-Ft. Worth industrial market, which Mertz hopes to boost to 10 million sf for the C&W portfolio. “There’s no reason for us not to be in that market,” he says.

Mertz has not defined a goal for the retail sector, but rather is waiting until the New York City-based C&W gets its nationwide strategy in place. As a natural course, the 100-member brokers’ team will still go after more office pacts. “We’ve just got to hustle and the business,” emphasizes Mertz. He believes the “greatest opportunity to grow will be on the facilities management side.” Coming along with that growth will be a rollout strategy for project management, an area that C&W in Texas has yet to capture a significant market share. The move toward ground-up project management, says Mertz, is necessary for clients as well as C&W’s positioning to level the playing field with its competitors.

More brokers will be brought on board as a result of the build-up. “The challenge is understanding what talent is available,” says the Texas native.

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