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HOUSTON-Market conditions and an available talent pool have spurred Transwestern’s Houston office to expand its local tenant advisory services group by hiring five employees. And, there’s more yet to come.

Steve Montgomery, Anthony Fritsche and Brandi McDonald have been hired as managing directors while Margaret Ann Cook and Valerie Palmquist have joined as broker associates. In the coming months, one or two more people will be hired, with accompanying staff, to fill out the component, says Chip Clarke, Transwestern’s president of the Gulf Coast and Mountain regions.

With 2007 growing into a year in which the market is shifting to benefit building owners and managers, Clarke tells GlobeSt.com that the seven-member tenant advisory team will face its share of challenges in the coming months, which is one reason why they were hired. “We’re operating in a robust real estate market now, with tightening of office and industrial space,” he says. “That’s happening in a lot of the Texas markets.”

The Houston hires also are following trends in other nationwide Transwestern offices. “We’re adding great teams in Dallas and we’ve just added a seasoned team in Southern California as well as Miami and Washington, DC,” Clarke says. “We had the opportunity to add people who had been sought after, senior-level production folks so we took it.”

Montgomery came over from Cushman & Wakefield of Texas Inc., where he was senior director. Cooke, another C&W alum, was also founder of Trilogy Real Estate Advisors, a local tenant rep firm. Palmquist was formerly a broker associate with the Staubach Co.’s corporate services division in Houston. Fritsche and McDonald were former principals with Trammell Crow Co.

Neither C&W nor Staubach could be reached by press time to comment on the exits. As for the CBRE/TCC departures, John Holland, senior managing director in CB Richard Ellis’ Houston office, says “CB Richard Ellis is Houston’s leading tenant representation firm with more than two dozen transaction experts focused on office occupiers alone. McDonald and Fritsche are good professionals and we wish them well. Our focus is on applying our talent, resources and platform to outperform the market for our clients.”

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