MINNEAPOLIS-Locally based Equity Commercial Services has partnered with Transwestern to create Equity, a Transwestern Co. The local firm joins Transwestern’s Midwest outposts Chicago, Detroit and Milwaukee. Executives at the Houston-based firm say they have other Midwestern cities in their sights for the future, such as Louisville, KY and Indianapolis, but that this new Twin Cities office will boost the company’s national presence.

“Minneapolis has always been a target,” Rob Bagguley, president of Transwestern’s Midwest region, tells GlobeSt.com. “It’s the second-largest marketplace in the region. We really see the benefit of Equity’s skill set, it’s a great opportunity.”

Mike Salmen, an Equity partner, says the merger should bring in more business. “We are primarily a local business with a number of institutional clients,” Salmen tells GlobeSt.com. “However, we missed on numerous opportunities. Where some institutional clients were looking for service providers, because we were a local company, we didn’t have a national platform and national relationship, and we were overlooked.”

Salmen tells GlobeSt.com that just with the build-up relationship with Transwestern, Equity was able to acquire two marketing and leasing contracts with Behringer Harvard, a Dallas-based REIT, to handle the Minnesota Center in Bloomington, MN and One Financial Plaza in Minneapolis. “That’s 650,000 sf total,” Salmen says. “We wouldn’t have won them without the Transwestern connection.”

Equity, which was founded in 1996, currently has about 30 employees, Salmen says. “We don’t foresee changes with our personnel, but we’ll hopefully be adding some brokerage staff.”

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