Jeffrey Heller, Avison Young principal and managing director in New Jersey
By Joshua Burd
Real estate services firm Avison Young has added a team of seven from the brokerage formerly known as Cresa NJ-North/Central LLC, as part of an acquisition of the business and a move to open a second New Jersey office in Middlesex County.
In an announcement Monday, the firm said Tom Giannone and Ron Ganter, the former managing principals of Cresa NJ-North/Central LLC, are now principals of Avison Young with a mandate to help grow the firm’s corporate tenant representation line throughout New Jersey. The Rutherford-based tenant-only brokerage team was immediately rebranded as Avison Young.
Avison Young is currently looking in the Metropark submarket for a permanent location for its new office.
“We’re thrilled that Tom, Ron and their team are joining Avison Young, and pleased to be opening our second office in New Jersey,” Mark E. Rose, chair and CEO of Avison Young, said in a prepared statement. “The acquisition of CNJ further expands Avison Young’s tenant representation advisory services, particularly in the life-science sector, for local, national and international businesses operating in New Jersey.
“With Tom and Ron, we are again adding highly regarded veteran commercial real estate professionals who are respected for their leadership, extensive industry experience and in-depth local market knowledge.”
Along with Giannone and Ganter, the newly acquired team includes Edward English, senior vice president; Elisabete Correia, operations manager; Steve Bleiweiss, senior vice president; Scott Riehl, vice president; and Brian Featherstone, advisor.
The news comes days after the CEO of Cresa, whose corporate headquarters is in Boston, announced a new management team in New Jersey “following a mutual decision to part ways with two of the firm’s previous principals.” The firm also said it was looking for a new location and will remain in the Meadowlands area, with its new leadership team including managing principals James Scancarella and Dennis Gralla and Principal Jonathan Marks
The announcement said Cresa was planning to aggressively recruit new staff to grow the operation.
The acquisition and expansion by Avison Young, a Toronto-based company, marks the opening of its 54th office in the U.S. The firm has grown aggressively in recent years in a bid to stay competitive in the real estate services sector and offer a full-service platform.
Avison Young opened its first New Jersey office in September 2012 and today has more than 110 employees today in the state.
The new team, to be located in the Metropark submarket, office will primarily focus on northern and central New Jersey, including the Princeton market, the firm said in a news release. The former Cresa NJ-North/Central LLC team provides services to industries including pharmaceutical, biotech, technology, telecommunications and financial services.
“We know that this team will fit seamlessly into our principal-led, collaborative culture while providing a superior level of service to clients and business partners,” Rose added. “By opening a new office that ties in the large New York and Philadelphia markets, we will open doors for our clients to many new opportunities throughout the U.S. and beyond.”
Giannone and Ganter will work closely with Jeffrey Heller, a principal of Avison Young and managing director of the firm’s New Jersey region, who will oversee the day-to-day operations of the new Metropark office.
“I have known Tom and Ron for decades and have been impressed with their group’s high level of professionalism and corresponding success,” Heller said. “They are highly respected in the New Jersey real estate community and rank among New Jersey’s top tenant rep brokers.
“At Avison Young, Tom and Ron, as well as Ed, will take a leadership role in Avison Young’s tenant representation business in New Jersey and play critical roles in expanding our life-science business, mentoring mid-career professionals and recruiting top real estate talent.”
Both Giannone and Ganter, who each held posts at Cushman & Wakefield and Studley before joining Cresa, are veteran brokers with decades of experience in commercial real estate.
“We believe that the north/central New Jersey marketplace will be a springboard for Avison Young as our company attempts to leverage growing tenant representation opportunities,” Giannone said. “As corporate real estate representatives, we will continue to focus on the tenant’s side of the commercial real estate transaction, and be the best advocate for our clients while evaluating their long-term business goals and negotiating the most cost-effective real estate solutions.”
Ganter added that the group “is delighted to be joining Avison Young and operating under a strong brand with multiple links to the global market.”
“We’re looking forward to sharing our knowledge of the northern and central New Jersey marketplace with our new clients and business partners while continuing to provide a strong tenant representation platform for existing clients,” Ganter said. “We’re also excited about the opportunity to tap into the expertise of our new colleagues across the U.S. and in Canada, Mexico, the U.K., and Germany.”