WEST DES MOINES, IA-Grubb & Ellis Co. has again joined with Mid-America Commercial Real Estate, based here, to cover Iowa with commercial real estate brokerage services. Mid-America, founded in 1961 by Marvin Pomerantz, had been one of two Grubb & Ellis subsidiaries in the state, but a former partnership broke off, and now the company has rejoined the fold.

Mid-America is part of the Mid-America Group, which had also had a partnership with Pacific Realty of Omaha to serve Grubb & Ellis; it was thought that both companies could serve Iowa and Nebraska, says Pat Hurley, SVP with Grubb & Ellis. However, Pacific Realty left last year to only cover Nebraska, and Mid-America was left to fend for itself. “We started talking with them in January to come back on,” Hurley tells GlobeSt.com. “We now had this hole in Iowa that we needed to fill.”

He says Iowa is an important market for Grubb & Ellis. “There’s a lot of insurance companies in Des Moines, including one of our clients, Principal Financial Group, as well as a lot of retail. We have 46 affiliates in 68 markets, we like to have a footprint in a lot of locations,” Hurley says. The office here has 22 employees, including Larry Cedarstrom, president of the newly merged office.

The move also fits in with the company’s Midwest strategy, says Hurley, though it’s been hard to say where to keep and start offices. “The Midwest is kind of a mixed bag,” he says. “You look at Detroit, that’s a difficult market, but our Grand Rapids, MI office is having one of its best years in 10 years. We’re in St. Louis fairly strong, and Kansas City, MO, but then you have Wichita, KS with the struggling aerospace industry.” He says basically, corporations expect the company to have the Midwest presence. “Our most recent office opened in Bentonville, AK, with its 20,000 Wal-Mart employees, an area that you could consider the Midwest. The only place we’re looking to go in the region is the Dakotas; say the Fargo area. We’ll see if we can get somebody, but we want to make sure they have the expertise needed. We’re looking at a few companies, but don’t plan a decision anytime soon.”

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