BOSTON-In what was termed a “historical inevitability,” locally based GVA Thompson Doyle Hennessey & Stevens will merge with GVA Williams of New York City. The move will extend the reach of both brokerage firms throughout much of the Northeast.

John Hennessey, co-owner of the Boston firm along with Cathy Thompson, tells that the merger, which is expected to be completed within two weeks, gives GVA Williams minority ownership in GVA Thompson Doyle Hennessey & Stevens. The firm will be renamed GVA Williams once the transaction is complete. Terms of the merger between the two privately-owned brokerage houses were not disclosed but Hennessey says the transaction will create “a strong regional player” in the Boston market.

“We’re going to brand with them, piggy-back on their technology and platform and some of the services they provide their clients will be incorporated into our platform,” Hennessey says, adding that he expects the size of the 30-person Boston office will increase as a result of the transaction.

Robert Freedman, GVA Williams’ president and CEO, says in a statement that the merger was a result of years of working with GVA brokers in Boston. “We have worked in concert with GVA Thompson Doyle Hennessey & Stevens on a host of projects and it became an historical inevitability that our firms would merge,” Freedman says. “Culture and integration issues are priorities in any business combination. Our past experience tells us our two firms are a perfect cultural match and that the integration will be seamless.”

Freedman says the merger will create “a full-service real estate powerhouse under the GVA Williams banner” and lift the Boston office “to a new level.” He could not be reached by for further comment.

David Begelfer, head of the Boston chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, tells the merger comes as no surprise in light of recent consolidations by other brokerage houses, including Trammell Crow Co. and CB Richard Ellis, which merged late last year.

“The trend seems to be a very strong one,” says Begelfer. “What you’re seeing is the value of having connections regionally because the users out there have diverse geographic needs. It’s easier for these companies to deal with one brokerage firm that can represent them in different markets.”

Begelfer says he expects the merger will strengthen both firms by allowing them to expand their relationships to other regions.

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