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McLEAN, VA-Cushman & Wakefield is launching a new corporate advisory service targeting mid-cap companies headquartered in the Greater DC area and MidAtlantic region that have national or worldwide real estate holdings as part of their business operations. It has hired two new executives as senior directors to head the initiative.

Gary Glatter Esq., formerly a senior managing director at Newmark Knight Frank, is a 26-year industry veteran experienced in portfolio management/workouts, commercial leasing, acquisitions, development, investment sales and financing. Richard Taylor was also a senior managing director at Newmark Knight Frank, working in corporate real estate, real estate consultancy, real estate brokerage and portfolio management.

C&W’s new initiative is aimed at what both say is an underserved niche here: companies that are large enough to have multiple real estate holdings to house growing business operations–but still too small to pay for the large fees management consultancies require to oversee the operations. There is a gap in the market between traditional brokerage services and high end consulting, Glatter says. “In many instances a broker will be brought in to execute a strategy–say, a sale leaseback or a new lease–as opposed to actually helping to develop that strategy in the first place, which is our goal.”

Taylor gives an example from his own experiences–an industrial client that wanted to renew a lease–prior to joining C&W last month. After some discussion, it quickly became clear the client had problems in its operations: manufacturing and engineering were located on separate floors, which hindered communication. Also the manufacturing processes changed every month, usually requiring new configurations. The solution? To seek out a facility designed as an open box that allows the company to change the machinery easily. It would also have sufficient floor space to house all the necessary staff together. Another client Taylor and Glatter came to them needing to free up capital as cost effectively as possible. Taylor and Glatter determined the best way to do so was through a sales-leaseback–which would deliver a $18-million payoff for the firm at a higher than expected cap rate. First, though, the buyer had to be convinced that their client was good for the 15-year lease. At the urging of Taylor and Glatter, the CEO of the company pitched the business–not the real estate transaction–to the buyer, who was thus sold on the company’s long term viability. “Too often real estate is a reactive process,” Taylor says. “What we offer is a proactive approach.”

C&W estimates that the market opportunity for its new strategy translates into an aggregate of 152 million sf of commercial real estate globally. In other words, the mid cap companies based here have that much real estate in their portfolios. Taylor and Glatter hope to bring “a couple” of million sf to C&W each year through their office. They are already off to a good start: the two brought along six clients–or roughly three million sf of properties–when they moved to C&W.

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