The principals of NAI Olympia Partners have decided to shut down the firm after a 20-year run, leaving its competitors to pick from more than 20 veteran office, industrial and retail brokers.
The company, seventh largest among commercial real estate brokerages based on IBJ's 2011 Book of Lists, was founded in 1990 by retail broker Danny Marr and developer Kevin McKasson.
It long has been a company based on individuals, so it was not entirely surprising that a discussion among NAI Olympia's seven principals about succession planning led to the conclusion the company should be dissolved, said principal Gus Miller, a 15-year NAI veteran.
"The unifying strategy was individualism," said Miller, who is leaving the business to join pension-fund adviser The Guild Group, an Indianapolis-based startup. "It's sad. But it's been a good run. This is a great business for independent-minded people."
Many of NAI Olympia's brokers—including vice presidents Rich Forslund and Matt Langfeldt, and director Alex Cantu—are heading to locally based Summit Realty Group. Principal Chip Barnes and vice president Matt Dickerson are expected to join the local office of Chicago-based Jones Lang LaSalle. Principal Tracey Holtzman has joined the local office of Midland Atlantic.
Also joining Summit from NAI Olympia are property management specialists Ken Petruska, Audrey Lawson and Chris Ayres, and front-desk coordinator Carol Swartz.
NAI Olympia principal Drew Augustin, vice president Bryan Augustin and director Brooke Augustin are expected to stick together as a group. Others are evaluating their options.
In most cases, individual brokers are taking existing clients with them. NAI Olympia will stay open through January to transition clients and wind down the business, Miller said.
The news of NAI Olympia's demise came a shock to many local competitors.
"They’ve been a venerable brokerage for 20-plus years, and I’m surprised and sad to see they’ll no longer be in business," said Steve Delaney, a principal in Sitehawk Retail Real Estate.
Jon Owens, a principal in the local office of Cassidy Turley, described NAI Olympia as "a good competitor, a formidable group of guys that have been together for years."