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FORT MYERS, FL-Due to rapid growth in Southwest Florida, Cushman & Wakefield has opened a new office in Fort Myers.

Larry Richey, senior managing director and branch manager for Cushman & Wakefield in Northern and Central Florida, tells GlobeSt.com that among reasons for opening the new office are that the company has existing clients in other locations that have interest in the Southwest. “The most significant driving force for opening the office is to meet our clients’ needs,” Richey says.

Another factor is the growth experienced in Lee and Collier counties. “On a percentage basis, Southwest Florida has been one of the fastest growing areas of Florida,” he says.

The office, which has seven employees, is led by executive director Gary Tasman. Members of Tasman’s brokerage team include directors Scott Robertson and Shawn Stoneburner and associate director Brandon Stoneburner. Professional support staff members include business manager Carol Arnold and client coordinators Jenn Resnick and Colleen O’Connor. “It’s always a challenge to open a new office,” Richey says. “The best way is to acquire a firm or acquire a team.”

Formerly with VIP Commercial TCN Worldwide, the former affiliate of Grubb & Ellis, Tasman has more than 23 years of commercial brokerage experience. In the past two years, he has closed more than 279 transactions including office, industrial, retail, land and investment properties. In 2005, Tasman was named the top affiliate revenue producer of Grubb & Ellis in the nation, and was one of the Top 10 revenue producers for the entire company.

Initially, the office will focus on brokerage services in the office, industrial, retail and investment sales markets and later expand into other areas, such as property management, asset management and appraisal services. Another initial focus of the office is market research. “There is very little quality information available in that marketplace,” Richey says.

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