Colliers buys Summit, continuing commercial real estate shakeup

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Real estate firm Colliers International has upped its stake in the Indianapolis market by buying locally owned Summit Realty Group, one of the largest brokerages in the city.

Seattle-based Colliers’ purchase  of Summit caps a string of recent deal-making among local commercial real estate offices resulting in a slew of name changes.

Summit, formerly affiliated with Cushman & Wakefield, lost that alliance in September when DTZ completed its $2 billion takeover of Cushman, creating one of the world’s largest real estate services companies, with $5 billion in revenue.

The new firm took on the more recognizable Cushman & Wakefield name. For the local office that was DTZ, it was the second name change in the past year. It had been known as Cassidy Turley before Texas-based TPG Capital bought both Cassidy Turley and DTZ and branded the new combined company DTZ.

Colliers, meantime, has had a local presence since 2010 through an affiliation with Resource Commercial Real Estate, which took the Colliers name five years ago. Coinciding with Colliers’ acquisition of Summit, Resource announced that it is has reverted to its original name after parting ways with Colliers.

Owning an office in Indianapolis bolsters Colliers’ presence in the Midwest, Craig Robinson, president of Colliers International’s U.S. operations, said in a press release.

“Expanding our company-owned operations in major markets is a key part of our growth strategy, and having a strong operation in Indiana coupled with our leadership in other markets in the Midwest further strengthens our business in the U.S.,” he said.

With 29 licensed brokers, the former Summit ranks as the fourth-largest brokerage in the Indianapolis area, according to IBJ statistics.

It was founded in 1993 and had nine owners, including Matt Langfeldt and Brian Zurawski, who will serve as Colliers’ co-market leaders.

The two declined to say who pursued whom in the deal. But once Summit lost its Cushman & Wakefield alliance, the firm needed to make a move to maintain a global presence, Zurawski said.

“We heard that loud and clear from our client base and our broker team,” he said. “We do a lot of international work; we needed a global platform.”

Colliers has more than 16,300 employees in 502 offices operating in 67 countries.

In Indianapolis, the firm had 31 brokers through its affiliation with Resource Commercial Real Estate and ranked as the third-largest brokerage in the area, according to IBJ statistics, behind CBRE Group Inc. and Cushman & Wakefield.

Colliers became affiliated with Resource after it broke from Cassidy Turley in January 2010. Colliers and Resource agreed to renew their affiliation just last December for another five years but mutually agreed to separate, said Sam Smith, principal and chairman of Resource. He founded the firm in 2005.

The move enables Resource to return to its entrepreneurial roots, Smith said.

“We’re focused on serving clients on Main Street not investors on Wall Street,” he said. “We look at it as a complete rebranding even though we have the same name. It’s been a long time. I’m sure people have forgotten.”

Resource now is the largest independent commercial brokerage firm in the Indianapolis area.

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