As it looks to rebuild its presence in the region, the recently reformed Richmond branch of a California-based commercial real estate brokerage has lined up a new top boss and new home base for its local operations.
CBRE in recent months tapped Tony Beck to oversee its Southern Virginia division – a territory that encompasses every corner of the state outside of Northern Virginia, including metro Richmond, Hampton Roads, Central Virginia, Danville, Roanoke and Charlottesville.
It also has moved its Richmond division, which is now a corporate-owned office as opposed to the previous long-running affiliate structure of the past, into new space at 7130 Glen Forest Drive in Henrico, shared with sister division CBRE Healthcare.
The company has rebuilt its local broker ranks back up in recent months to eight, compared to about 30 before the move to the new structure.
“It’s going to take us some time,” Beck said of the rebuild. “But we’re patient and we’ve got CBRE backing us all the way.”
CBRE shook up the region’s commercial brokerage scene last October, announcing plans to end its affiliate agreement with CB Richard Ellis of Virginia, which operated locally as CBRE | Richmond. The company chose instead to establish a new corporate-owned branch in the metro, while the affiliate group jumped over to Colliers International. Colliers then cut ties with its longtime affiliate Harrison & Bates, which since has shut down.
The subsequent poaching led to brokers jumping to other firms around town, with the new CBRE picking up a group from Harrison & Bates, including Christopher Wallace, Susan Jones, Andrew Ferguson, Jason Hetherington, Matt Hamilton, Eric Williford, Carter Gradwell and Peyton Cox.
Beck said that roster count could rise depending on demand.
“We’re not going to have a huge head count,” he said. “We’re going to make sure that we can manage the business that we have, grow the platform and continue to grow our market share.”
Beck added CBRE also is helping his division to establish a marketing and research team, and recently hired Sarah Cooley to serve as senior sales director.
“Having the national platform and having the assistance through the mid-Atlantic, we feel like we have something to build from,” Beck said.
A new office for its Hampton Roads division in downtown Norfolk is pending, Beck said, adding that both Richmond and Norfolk offices will help with transactions that occur outside the state’s “Urban Crescent” in places such as Charlottesville, Roanoke and Danville.
A 22-year real estate veteran, Beck started in the industry with Highwoods Properties, first in Hampton Roads and then in Richmond. He also worked with First Potomac Realty Trust, which was acquired by Government Properties in 2017, and later CenterPoint Properties, which specializes in industrial development and leasing.
Beck said metro Richmond remains attractive to regional and out-of-state buyers, making it a marketplace CBRE sees as promising for future growth.
“Richmond used to be an emerging market … It’s now becoming a major city within the Southeast,” Beck said. “It’s just a good time to be in real estate.”