Local commercial real estate brokerage and property management firm Newmark Knight Frank Halakar is no more, but Halakar Properties Inc. is back—minus one of its key players.
The switcheroo comes courtesy of national real estate firm Newman Knight Frank, which terminated its seven-year affiliation with Halakar at the end of 2017 to start its own real estate brokerage in Indianapolis. So the former Newmark Knight Frank Halakar, led by Todd Maurer, has reverted to its previous name, Halakar Properties Inc.
To establish its local office and lead the operations, Newmark has poached Jenna Barnett from Halakar. Formerly a co-owner and one of the city's top office brokers, Barnett had been at Halakar since 2005 and represented Salesforce in its recent move into its namesake building, Salesforce Tower.
Both Maurer and Barnett said the split was amicable.
"I think Jenna will do just fine with Newmark,” Maurer said. “But if you want local expertise, with people who are engaged in the community, then you use a local company."
For her part, Barnett said the opportunity to join Newmark gives her an opportunity to represent local clients who might be searching for office space in other states.
“I do tenant representation for larger companies with offices all over the place,” she said. “It’s difficult to do that with a local company.”
A network of partners in place in other cities means a broker no longer needs to research and interview prospective brokers when a client needs real estate in another city.
Maurer, the son of IBJ Media co-owner Michael S. Maurer, co-founded Halakar in 2000 with Ralph Balber. The latter left in 2014 to start Alo Property Group LLC.
The two established Halakar as a brokerage and development firm before branching out into property management during the Great Recession. The division now manages about 2 million square feet of office, retail and industrial property, including the Woodlands I and II office buildings on the northwest side and Lake Pointe II near Allisonville Road and East 82nd Street.
Newmark terminated its affiliation with Halakar at the end of the year. If Maurer would have agreed to sell his brokerage to Newmark, he would have likely been forced to fire up to five employees, Maurer said.
“I’m happy with it,” he said of his firm’s independence. “There was so much reporting we had to do for them. It gets in the way of serving your clients.”
The publicly traded Newmark was founded in 1929 in New York City and is an affiliate of BGC Partners Inc. Together, with London-based partner Knight Frank and independently owned offices, Newmark operates more than 400 offices on six continents.
Halakar has 22 employees and, with 13 brokers, ranked in 2017 as the eighth-largest real estate brokerage in the Indianapolis area, according to IBJ statistics.
Barnett is operating the local Newmark office from the Industrious co-working space in Gershman Partners’ new Marietta building at 350 Massachusetts Ave., next to the Marott Center.
She took with her from Halakar Kevin O’Donnell and ultimately hopes to build a local team, Barnett said.
Barnett’s hire and Newmark’s Indianapolis presence in essential to the firm’s providing comprehensive coverage throughout the Midwest, now that it also has acquired multiple offices in Ohio, Newmark said in a press release.