HOUSTON-In its move to expand in the metro area, Henry S. Miller Brokerage is launching a new brokerage division in the northwest, tapping company veteran Shawn Ackerman to get it going. Ackerman and colleague Jason Du will relocate from the company’s office in the Galleria submarket, which will remain open.

Ackerman, the company’s executive vice president and acting division head over commercial retail leasing and sales, says the Northwest Houston Brokerage Division is being launched on April 1 to streamline services, and will partner with the company’s Realty Management Division, headed by Richard Mellas, and located at 8203 Willow Place Dr. S. The Galleria office is at 1800 W. Loop S.

“Shawn is focused primarily on leasing, and in leasing, you’re almost always involved with tenant finish-out and TIs,” comments Sam Kartalis, president of Henry S. Miller Realty Services LLC. “Leasing and property management always work closely together, so this made sense.”

Ackerman tells GlobeSt.com that, at one time, Miller’s property management and brokerage shared the same office in the Galleria. “We’d gotten to the crossroad and had grown so large, that the property management folks had to move to another area,” Ackerman explains. He adds that the property management division relocated to the northwest in 2008, where most of the shopping centers and apartment complexes were located. Ackerman, meanwhile, continued working from the Galleria office, which was separated from the property management division by 20 miles and sometimes an hour of traffic.

“Houston is a huge market,” Ackerman explains. “One of the property managers drives 160 miles, just to visit all the properties.” Adding to that was growing traffic congestion in the Galleria submarket which, Ackerman acknowledges, is more of an office-specific market. “Most of my big projects, any kind of large retail project, are in the west or north submarkets,” he comments.

In addition to streamlining operations, Ackerman also wants to grow the northwest office. He says he’ll focus on retail brokers first, then branch into other areas, depending on the client need. Ackerman is no stranger to building divisions; he started Henry S. Miller’s retail and property management division in 2001.

“The future is to work more closely again with property management and to grow, not at a crazy pace, but steady,” Ackerman comments. “We’re looking at bringing in the right people with the same philosophy; not fast, not slow, but a steady pace.”

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