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PHOENIX-It still may be too early to tell how last month’s merger between Insignia/ESG and CB Richard Ellis Inc. shakes out in the city, but other brokerage firms in the Valley are counting on the pairing to bolster their own status and revenues in Arizona’s competitive commercial real estate market.

“Growth is just off the charts” since the merger, Craig Henig, executive vice president of Dallas-based Trammell Crow Co.’s local office, tells GlobeSt.com. The brokerage firm was feeling the ripples of that growth even as the merger between the two real estate giants was being finalized. With just 11 brokers on staff in May, Trammell Crow moved quickly to bolster its office, retail, industrial and investment divisions by adding 23 new agents, many from Insignia, to its roster. That move parlayed the firm’s property management portfolio, increasing it from 6.5 million sf to more than nine million sf, all in the span of 60 days. The firm’s leasing assignments also grew from five million sf of listings to today’s 12 million sf.

“Everything has been extremely positive,” Mark Detmer, an industrial specialist with Trammell Crow, tells GlobeSt.com. “One of the clearest impacts (of the merger) is that we have become the third largest real estate firm in the Valley.”

At Grubb & Ellis/BRE Commercial, the same positive effects are being played out in similar fashion. “It’s been a great thing for us,” Bryon Carney, executive vice president and managing principal for Grubb & Ellis/BRE Commercial here, tells GlobeSt.com.

Carney says the company added seven former Insignia brokers to its retail, office and multifamily investment teams due to the merger, all of whom brought projects, clients and business that Carney says “will strongly contribute to our revenue and our client base.”

Ironically, the merger came at a time when Grubb & Ellis’ local office was undergoing its own shakeup due to a decision by company officials to hand over majority control of the local office to its brokers, giving them a partial stake in the operation. “The timing was great for us,” Carney says of the dual maneuvers.

But whether the pairings of Insignia brokers with other commercial real estate firms will give anyone a jump on the competition still remains to be seen. “It’s so early in the game right now,” says Carney, but “time will tell.

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