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HOUSTON-CB Richard Ellis has brought environmental site and property condition assessment services in house through the formation of the Assessment & Consulting Services Group. The new group launches today as part of the company’s Valuation & Advisory Services Group with Richard Dagnall as senior managing director and Tom Kosonen, managing director heading up the effort.

“CB has always provided property appraisals but never provided the assessment services,” comments Dagnall, who is operating out of the company’s Houston office. “If the clients needed them, they’d refer them to another company.” However, with Dagnall on board and New York City-based colleague Kosenen scheduled to join later this month, the assessment activities are in house, meaning more reporting consistency.

“When you have a lot of different firms who are unaffiliated going out and looking at properties, you get a bunch of different building sizes and other information that isn’t consistent,” Dagnall tells GlobeSt.com. “Coming to one source that provides all the reports, which is what we’re doing, ensure data is consistent between all reports; the square footage is consistent, the zoning is consistent.”

In addition, the new group is a one-stop shop on the assessment side. “Clients aren’t having to call bunch of different firms,” Dagnall remarks. “They call one person, and we take care of the coordination issue.” In addition to Dagnall and Kosonen, the new group has some assessors and other personnel on board, while planning to work with independent contractors in the field.

Prior to his hire by CBRE, Dagnall as vice president with LandAmerica Assesment Corp. Pervious to that, Dagnall was founder and owner of Aaron & Wright Technical Services, which was acquired by LandAmerica. Dagnall says he approached CBRE last March to determine if the company was interested in potentially hiring him for environmental and property assessment services.

Kosonen came into the mix as a client of Dagnall’s. “He was the engineering and environmental risk manager for Bear Stearns,” Dagnall explains. “When I saw him at a conference in Phoenix in late April, I thought it would be a great opportunity to bring him on boards. I like working with experienced technical people who know the client side, and understand what clients need to get out of the reports.”

Given the market these days, Dagnall says client issues center around ensuring the right repairs are being done on properties. Lenders, especially, are concerned about this aspect. “If those lenders come back to foreclose on the property, if no money was put into it, it gets run down very quickly,” Dagnell comments, As a result, some lenders are reserving some carry-back at closings to ensure monies for repair or deferred maintenance. On the environmental side, Dagnall says the concerns are pretty much standard, ranging from potential asbestos or lead paint in buildings, to underground tanks at former gas stations.

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