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NEW YORK CITY-The newly crafted joint venture between locally based Cushman & Wakefield and sports retailer Orvis Co. is more than a pastime. At a press conference today filling in the details of the 50/50 joint venture, principals of both firms revealed that they see a potential $10-billion market unfolding before them and the opportunity to brand a niche that heretofore has remained “fragmented.”

As GlobeSt.com reported this morning, the two firms have entered into a joint venture to market ranch and recreational properties through a marriage of C&W’s brokerage capabilities and Orvis’ retail client list. What sets the initiative apart–other than its potential size, the executives said–is the global reach.

“Sales of ranch and recreational properties have historically been local and regional efforts,” Orvis/C&W president and CEO John B. Watson stated. Any national efforts, such as those mounted by Christie’s or Sotheby’s, are franchised, he went on to say. “This is a global platform with access to multinational CEOs,” said C&W president and CEO Bruce E. Mosler. “We’re bringing breadth, depth and reach to a fragmented market.”

While few restrictions are being placed on the size and type of properties selected for marketing, Louis B. Cushman, who is vice chairman of C&W, said that the price range will start at $3 million, to justify the cost of the marketing effort, and can climb above the $40-million mark. Cushman is also chairman of the new venture.

Few restrictions are being put on the after-sale uses of the assets. While Orvis has a long history of land-conservancy programs, Watson said, “We won’t impose restrictions on buyers. By virtue of our model, the sellers who list with C&W are telling us they want their properties marketed to Orvis customers who respect the environment.”

Neither are their restrictions on how far the joint venture can run with the initiative. As Mosler stated, while the effort will focus initially on brokerage only, the door is open to expand into management and other areas of recreational real estate.

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