SAN FRANCISCO-After increasing the size and awareness of Colliers International’s Portland, OR operation over the past two years as its managing director, Thomas Lawwill has been tapped to run the company’s San Francisco office. Lawwill steps into the San Francisco operation as an executive managing director.

Over the past two years, Lawwill raised awareness of the firm in the Portland market while also doubling the number of real estate professionals working for the company in the market. He also restructured Portland’s internal support team.

Lawwill brings 35 years of sales and marketing experience to Colliers’ San Francisco office, 19 of those years in commercial real estate. Before joining Colliers in 2005, he was vice president and director of sales and leasing for the Portland-based brokerage Norris & Stevens.

Lawwill takes the San Francisco reins from Scott Harper, who was appointed managing director of the San Francisco office in 2002. Harper returned to full-time brokerage duties in January 2007 after spearheading Colliers’ new West Coast regional specialization group, called Urban Landlord Partners. Harper says Lawwill has a “great track record of developing teams within the company and promoting Colliers to the marketplace.”

Lawwill steps into his new post at a time when, according to the latest Colliers International market report, the city’s office market registered mixed signals during the third quarter of this year. The total square footage leased during the quarter slowed significantly to just over one million sf compared with 1.9 million sf in the first quarter and nearly 1.8 million sf in the second quarter, according to the Colliers report.

However, the number of transactions remained steady at 136 and other office market indicators registered in the positive column. The market continued its steady absorption, which reached more than 1.1 million sf for the year, and the vacancy rate dipped to 10.5% from the previous figure of 11.1%.

“The strong consistent market growth over the last 13 quarters bumped up rental rates,” during the third quarter, the report noted. It pointed out that overall class A rents increased to $50.6 per sf and class B rents rose to $34.8 per sf.

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