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LOS ANGELES-Studley has hired a 13-member team for its National Retail Services Group and has named Bill Bauman, formerly senior vice president and partner at Colliers International’s retail division, as an EVP based in its Downtown L.A. office to head the team. Bauman tells GlobeSt.com that Studley is aiming to have retail brokers in all major markets of the US and is already in talks with quite a few brokers in those markets.

“We are very serious about building this group to service all of the major national hubs,” Bauman says. The 13-member team from Colliers International that has joined Studley includes 10 brokers and three support staff, with five of the brokers in Downtown Los Angeles, four in Orange County and one in Atlanta.

The new Studley brokers include four who focus solely on tenant representation, five who specialize in landlord representation and several who focus on investments, according to Bauman. Although Studley is known as a pure tenant rep firm in the office and industrial sectors, Baum says that the firm, as it expands the retail group, “hopes to attract brokers with diverse skill sets so that the focus isn’t just on landlord or just on tenant representation.”

Instead of focusing on one facet of the industry, Studley’s retail platform is designed as “a one-stop shop for retail–whether you’re a developer, investor, or retailer,” Bauman says, adding that the National Retail Services Group expects that the relationships Studley has with many of its existing clients will help the retail group in a number of ways. He explains that Studley represents a number of large retailers around the country in its corporate facilities assignments, “so we hope that will open the door for us to work on those relationships from a store acquisition and disposition end.” In addition, the firm’s capabilities and expertise in tenant representation “will help to strengthen us in some of the services that we are able to offer our retail clients,” Bauman says.

In addition Bauman, members of the National Retail Services Group include Bryan Norcott, senior managing director; corporate managing directors Bill Legier, Max Franco, Lea Clay, John Beaney and Paul Bartlett; managing directors Steve McDonald and Cameron Crowner; and assistant director Jon Radus. All are based in Southern California except for Clay, who is based in Atlanta. Some of the group’s major clients include retailers Toys “R” Us, Barnes & Noble, Michaels and 24 Hour Fitness and developers Regency Centers, Vestar Development Co. and Zelman Development Co.

Studley’s National Retail Services Group is “a platform appealing to the more senior, highly productive brokers,” Bauman says. He notes that the new brokers who have joined the firm are “a very seasoned and accomplished group” with an average of more than 15 years in the business.

Bauman says the new team has joined Studley at a time when retail brokerage is evolving to accommodate the changes wrought by the economic downturn. For example, the leasing side of the business is now concerned more with second-generation space than the first-generation space that was on the market when there was a lot of construction being completed.

Much of the second-generation space has become available through the bankruptcies of large retailers, Bauman notes, so his group is working on creative solutions for filling those spaces, such as finding regional retailers to occupy space once filled by national firms, demising large single-user spaces to accommodate multiple users or finding non-traditional tenants to fill the retail spaces.

Another change wrought by the recession is that, “A lot of retailers are going back to landlords in an effort to renegotiate the terms of their leases and option agreements,” Bauman points out. “We are getting asked more and more by our clients to get involved in that because we have so much data on actual deals that are being done that we can provide them with comps that benefit them in negotiating rents.”

Despite the downturn, Bauman points out, “We are still identifying new store expansion opportunities.” He explains that although his group expects that 2009 is going to be quiet in terms of expansions, “We think that most of the retailers are preparing for strategic expansions in 2010.”

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