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BOSTON-Given that the office has not been opened quite a half year, progress on establishing a Newmark Knight Frank beachhead in Massachusetts has not been half-bad, maintains managing principal James Thomson. In fact, the veteran Boston broker says the hiring of four more professionals is a major step in making the New York City-based firm a force in New England’s commercial real estate brokerage community.

“I’m thrilled,” Thomson says of the latest additions. “It sets us up for a very good 2008.” The quartet brings to 11 the number of brokers in the Boston office, which is headquartered at One Federal St. in the Financial District. Among the new arrivals is suburban specialist Joseph Crowley, who is matriculating from Meredith & Grew and will cover the upper tier of Route 128 near Interstate 93, including Lexington, Burlington and Woburn. “Joe is a really good producer and a seasoned broker,” says Thomson. “I think he will be a tremendous contributor to our success.”

NKF is structuring teams based on geography and specialty such as investment sales. Crowley is schooled as a tenant representation expert. The Downtown group is welcoming Adam Schneier from Lincoln Property Co., a national firm at which the new arrival “gained a great deal of market experience,” says Thomson. The Cambridge team has added a California transplant in Jesse Flynn, a five-year veteran who honed his craft in San Francisco, while Thomson says he believes a background in computer sales will benefit newcomer Stefan Frey. The new hire will work with team leader Austin Smith serving the Route 128 stretch from the Massachusetts Turnpike south and down into Taunton.

NKF is in a “heavy recruitment” phase seeking to get the Boston branch up to full power, and Thomson says the goal is to be at about 20 brokers by February. In acknowledging the lengthy roster of commercial real estate firms operating in Greater Boston, Thomson says he is encouraged by the talent already secured, and says he hopes to be up to $35 million and $40 million in gross billings by 2009. NKF counts itself among the largest independent real estate services firm in the world, with a combined staff of 5,300 people in 165 on six continents.

Having previously worked for such top companies as Grubb & Ellis and Cushman & Wakefield, Thomson praises NKF for its own capabilities helping clients on the international stage. The platform has quickly boosted his relationships, Thomson says, having captured several assignments thanks to NKF referrals from the main office in New York City. “That is crucial to your business in the northeast,” says Thomson, who has been covering New England since the 1980s and says he welcomes the fresh leads, resources and ability to service existing clients as they seek new markets already covered by NKF.

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