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LAS VEGAS-After recently being tossed up in the air here, NAI Global has landed cleanly on its feet. Vic Donovan, heretofore senior managing director for the largest brokerage operation in Las Vegas, Colliers International, has left the network for the opportunity to become a principal with NAI Global and executive managing director of its new Las Vegas office—an office that was in jeopardy a few weeks ago.

The addition is a huge boon for NAI Global, which had a Phoenix-based licensee, NAI Horizon, abruptly close down the only NAI office in Las Vegas, which employed 30 brokers. An NAI Horizon executive told GlobeSt.com at the time that the Las Vegas office had seen a “huge downturn” in activity and was “requiring cash resources [from the ownership] to basically keep the doors open.”

Local industry sources tell GlobeSt.com that part of the reason the office was struggling was its office space. The company was reportedly paying approximately $40,000 per month to lease 14,000 sf of high-end space at Marnell Corporate Center but was never able to fill it with enough brokers.

Regardless, NAI Global was made aware of the pending closure shortly before it happened and dispatched Oregon-based Executive Vice President, David Blanchard to Las Vegas to get a corporate-owned office up and running as soon as possible. Within days of the closure, Horizon was no longer the NAI licensee in Las Vegas and Blanchard had secured smaller office space – approximately 2,000 sf at 4069 Dean Martin Dr. – and opened a new, corporate-controlled office.

Blanchard retained 11 of the brokers who were let go by NAI Horizon, including retail broker Dave Johnson, who was tapped as a principal of the new office and will continue to be one along with Donovan and others. “We’re stoked about what we have done,” Blanchard told GlobeSt.com at the time. “We’re down to a core group of people who want to be here.”

Having now landed one of the region’s best known managing directors as its new leader here, Blanchard was more positive than ever. “It is stunning to go from the kind of stuff we were having to deal with to having Vic Donovan as our new executive managing director,” he says. “It is an amazing moment. I am excited to get back to Oregon and let Vic Donovan build this company–and he will build it.”

So why did Donovan go from head of the largest brokerage firm in the region to an organization days removed from losing its Las Vegas office altogether? Neither Blanchard nor Donovan are going into much detail, but local industry sources tell GlobeSt.com that among other things NAI Global is a known and growing brand that offered Donovan something Colliers hadn’t: an ownership stake.

“I was comfortable; I had a very nice job, loved the people I worked with and could have stayed there until my last day and been perfectly happy,” Donovan tells GlobeSt.com. “But NAI put together such a strong package that it turned out to be a phenomenal opportunity I could not turn down.”

Donovan in turn offers NAI Global something it hasn’t had in Las Vegas, a strong, well-known local leader who expects to get the local NAI office back up near the top of the brokerage pile in Las Vegas. Now the largest brokerage firm in the city, Donovan says Colliers was the No. 3 or No. 4 firm in town when he arrived. Now he goes to NAI, which until it shut down a few weeks ago was the No. 3 or No. 4 firm in town.

At Colliers, where he spent the past 13 years, Donovan most recently oversaw all operational aspects of Colliers International in Southern Nevada and acted as the Broker of Record for Colliers offices in both the Las Vegas and Reno. In that role, he directed the efforts of all property managers and brokers.

Donovan also has a solid background in commercial property management and development, having done work for several major national real estate and development firms, including, Perini Corp. and Perini Investment Properties, and PM Realty Group. Prior to Colliers, he worked as a consultant and project manager on development projects for Resort Parks International, SEGA/Gameworks of Canada, the Alabama Transportation Museum, Mattel Toys, and numerous leisure development and theme park companies.

Donovan says he did not discuss with his fellow Colliers brokers the talks he was having with NAI before leaving, saying it would have been unethical. Now that he’s gone, however, he will be looking to add productive brokers to the NAI team regardless of their current affiliation.

“I am busy working on an operating, marketing and recruitment plans,” Donovan says. “We will build off the existing base to grow all lines of commercial real estate, including property management. I haven’t called a lot of people yet, but I’ve had a lot of people call me.”

The new NAI Las Vegas office has room for about five more brokers than it has now. With Donovan at the helm, it may be considering a larger lease sooner than initially expected.

Colliers, meanwhile, is by no means left in the lurch. Taking over Donovan’s role as local managing partner and Broker of Record at Colliers is Michael Mixer, who formed Colliers International Las Vegas in 1993 with partner James Stuart. Mixer is a top broker for the organization and a member of the Colliers Board of Directors. The company has been the top commercial real estate firm in Las Vegas for the last three consecutive years, according to local independent reports.

“Vic Donovan was a respected member of our team and we wish him well in his future endeavors,” states Mixer in a prepared statement.

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