(Natalie Keith is a contributing writer to GlobeSt.com.)

SOUTHFIELD, MI-Signature Associates-Oncor International has acquired Nexcom LLC, a move that increases the firm’s presence in the Western Michigan market. The acquisition marks Signature’s continued efforts to expand in the region. In September 2003, the company announced a partnership with East Lansing-based Abood Properties Inc. that expanded the company’s presence in the Lansing area. In June 2002, the company formed a partnership with Toledo-based Zyndorf/Serchuk LLS and acquired Kalamazoo-based Callander Woollam & Britigan. The Western Michigan is indeed seeing activity that other Detroit-area cities are lacking. According recent numbers released by Grubb & Ellis, both the office and industrial markets have showed continued improvement during the past two years. Vacancies in the office market dropped from 19.7% in the second quarter of 2004 to 17.1% in the third quarter of 2005. Vacancies in the Western Michigan industrial market also dropped from 8% in 2004 to 7.2% in 2005.

“Strategically, this was an ideal opportunity to extend our strength in the active West Michigan market,” says Steven Gordon, president of Signature Associates. “We knew Nexcom from our existing West Michigan operations and were impressed with their work ethic and commitment to clients.”

Nexcom, a 13-person brokerage firm, was founded in 1999 and has offices in Muskegon and Grand Rapids. Nexcom founders Bryan Bench, Jim Olsen, Roger Schmidt and Jeff Tucker will become principals of Signature. With the acquisition, Signature will have 45 sales and support professionals working in the West Michigan market at offices in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Muskegon.

Nexcom officials said in a statement that merging with Signature will allow the company to offer a wider range of services to existing customers, such as property and asset management and mortgage banking. Through Signature’s affiliation with Oncor, clients will also be provided with national and international services. Signature has a total of six offices in Michigan and Ohio. The firm had 2005 sales and leases topping 25.5 million sf and currently manages more than 7.3 million sf of property. Signature representatives could not be reached by press time.

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