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CHICAGO-Locally based Urban Retail Properties and Washington, DC-based Woodmark LLC are teaming up to provide brokerage and management services to class A commercial office owners in Washington, DC and the Mid-Atlantic region of the US.

Urban Retail’s Timothy Steffan, executive vice president with the new firm known as Urban Woodmark LLC, tells GlobeSt.com that with the recent wave of mergers and acquisitions in the real estate brokerage arena, the shrinking inventory of third-party service providers marks a ripe time for a new source. Even more, says Steffan, Urban Woodmark combines the expertise of two diverse product types, and has the backing of two strong parent companies.

A client who has nearly 10 office buildings for every shopping center it owns, for example, may prefer to appoint one firm to operate and manage its properties instead of two. “We can offer the same level of expertise in both office and retail,” Steffan says. “Woodmark puts forth the commercial office management and leasing brokerage, while we add institutional access and the retail knowledge to lease lower-level service. Other companies can’t provide that because they just don’t know both markets.”

Urban Retail, an independently privately held company, has developed more than 75 projects nationwide, and is currently managing 40 million sf in 28 states and the District of Columbia. Woodmark LLC, a property management, leasing and investment services firm, has 5.7 million sf currently under contract in the Mid-Atlantic.

Although nothing has been formalized, Steffan says the joint venture is very close to inking a number of deals. “It’s very tough to go out there racing when you’re not fully ready,” Steffan tells GlobeSt.com. “We needed to get the cart behind the horse, and now we’re running with it. Everyone we’ve talked to has welcomed it with open arms because they see a lack of service providers in the market.”

As far as where the partnership will be in the coming years, Steffan says that he and partner Alex Green with Woodmark believe there is no boundary to the company’s success. “The skies the limit,” Steffan says. “There is no question as to whether there is a market for this; it’s how much better we can do it.”

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