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Avison Young acquires PSB Realty Advisors, opens new office in Columbus, Ohio

Fast-growing commercial real estate services firm opens 39th U.S. office; Scott Pickett becomes Managing Director

TORONTO, Jan. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ - Mark E. Rose, Chair and CEO of Avison Young, the world's fastest-growing commercial real estate services firm, announced today that it has acquired Columbus, Ohio-based PSB Realty Advisors LLC, and opened a new office in Columbus, OH.

The newest American office represents Avison Young's 39th office outside of Canada and an additional step in the firm's ongoing aggressive growth and expansion strategy.

Over the past five years, Avison Young has grown from 11 to, now, 54 offices in 43 markets and from 300 to more than 1,500 real estate professionals across Canada and the U.S.

Founded in 2008, PSB Realty Advisors is a full-service real estate services company providing commercial real estate investment, brokerage, management and development services for office, retail, multi-family and industrial properties.

As a result of the acquisition, Avison Young will assume a significant leasing and management portfolio including the 20-story, 225,000-square-foot (sf) Key Bank tower in downtown Columbus.

Effective immediately, Scott Pickett becomes a Principal of Avison Young. Formerly President and principal owner of PSB Realty Advisors, Pickett also becomes Managing Director of the new Columbus office and will oversee the growth and development of Avison Young's presence in Columbus as well as manage the day-to-day operations of the office.

"Building a robust Columbus market will enhance our ability to serve corporate and institutional clients in the critically important U.S. Midwest region," comments Rose. "Columbus plays an integral role in the Midwest supply chain because of the city's location and large distribution infrastructure. Avison Young looks forward to aggressively growing the Columbus platform with Scott Pickett's leadership by building on the brokerage services and the leasing and management presence previously established by PSB Realty Advisors."

Rose continues: "Columbus will serve as another vital link to the Chicago area and enhance services to clients who operate extensively, or are based in, the Midwest. The central location also enables us to tie in services to clients on both the East Coast and West Coast."

Also joining Avison Young from PSB Realty Advisors are Steve Heiser and Graydon Webb, who will continue to focus on market-based brokerage activities and driving value for their clients.

"As we continue our strategic expansion in the Midwest, our clients are in need of service in a number of key markets, including Columbus," states Earl Webb, Avison Young's President, U.S. Operations. "As the state capital, Columbus has a key role in the Ohio real estate market, and a number of corporate and institutional clients of our firm either have a presence there or are desirous of one. Scott Pickett not only brings a number of years of experience in and around central Ohio - Columbus in particular - but has a depth and breadth of client experience and relationships that will greatly benefit Avison Young. Working with Jim Becker in Detroit and other Principals, Scott will be instrumental in building out our Ohio markets, and will also serve our clients and prospects who need top-level service in that market."

Effective immediately, PSB Realty Advisors' Columbus office at 88 East Broad Street, Suite 1740, in downtown Columbus will be re-branded Avison Young.

"Opening the Columbus office is another step in Avison Young's quest to further build its robust U.S. platform," says Becker, Avison Young Principal and Managing Director of the company's Detroit office. "Columbus is a critical market for Avison Young and the new Columbus office will help build depth and capacity for Avison Young in a Top 30 U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Area and growing Midwest market. Scott's experience and proven track record of delivering successful results for his clients makes him one of the most sought after commercial brokers in Central Ohio. We are very excited to have Scott, Steve and Graydon on board."

"When Avison Young offered to acquire PSB Realty Advisors and enable our operations to become part of Avison Young's vibrant brand, we received an opportunity to join forces with a like-minded organization and access a broad range of resources and intellectual capital across North America," says Pickett. "We couldn't be more pleased to have the opportunity to become part of Avison Young's innovative principal-led ownership and management structure and aggressive U.S. and global expansion program."

He adds: "I believe that, through this acquisition, we have provided a tremendous growth opportunity for our team and our clients. I'm thrilled to be able to assist Avison Young in developing a presence in Columbus and to strengthen the company's foothold in the dynamic Midwest region. By operating under the Avison Young brand, Steve, Graydon and I can increase our service offerings to Columbus-area clients who operate nationally and internationally, and tap into the company's expertise and large network on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border and beyond."

Columbus, the capital of Ohio, ranks as the largest city in the state. It is the 15th-largest city in the U.S. and fourth-largest city in the Midwest. The Columbus region is within a one-day truck drive or one-hour flight of 41% of the U.S. population, 80% of American-based corporate headquarters and 43% of the nation's manufacturing capacity. Major employers include Ohio State University, JP Morgan Chase, Nationwide Insurance and Honda of America. According to the city's economic development agency, government ranks as the largest sector in Columbus, followed by professional and business services, educational and health services and retail trade. As the home of Ohio State University, Columbus also offers many other educational and technical options, ensuring an educated workforce and business diversity rather than reliance on one single industry. Corporations with head offices in Columbus include: Nationwide Insurance, Limited Brands, Cardinal Health and American Electric Power.

Today's announcement comes on the heels of Avison Young acquiring Atlanta-based The Eidson Group on January 9, 2014.



Scott Pickett
With more than two decades of commercial real estate, brokerage and development experience, Scott Pickett was most recently President of PSB Realty Advisors. During his career, he has developed and leased more than 10 msf, including 2 msf of new construction in Central Ohio. Pickett is well versed in executing commercial real estate transactions that include tenant representation, landlord representation, acquisition/disposition and property management, portfolio management, site selection, planning and development, economic incentive packages, contractor selection, space planning, and construction. He has executed assignments in almost every state in the U.S. and internationally. Pickett's list of corporate clients include Cardinal Health, Nationwide Insurance, Scotts, BMW Financial, MCI and Medco.

As an entrepreneur, Pickett formed PSB Realty Advisors in 2008 following his tenure as Vice-President at CB Richard Ellis in Columbus. Prior to joining CB Richard Ellis, Pickett spent 11 years at Continental Real Estate Companies as Vice-President of development and brokerage services, managing the development of office, industrial and retail development projects and a portfolio of more than 1 msf of office and industrial buildings. Pickett's career began at The Pickett Companies where his responsibilities ranged from job superintendent on construction sites to site selection and financing for new hotels throughout the Midwest and East Coast.

Pickett holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Ohio State University where he majored in finance and real estate, and obtained his real estate license in 1990. He is a member of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP), Columbus Commercial Investment and Industrial Realtors (CCIIR), the Columbus Board of Realtors, Columbus Athletic Club and Muirfield Village Golf Club.

Avison Young is the world's fastest-growing commercial real estate services firm. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Avison Young is a collaborative, global firm owned and operated by its principals. Founded in 1978, the company comprises 1,500 real estate professionals in 54 offices, providing value-added, client-centric investment sales, leasing, advisory, management, financing and mortgage placement services to owners and occupiers of office, retail, industrial and multi-family properties.

• Please click on link to view and download photo of Scott Pickett

For further information/comment/photos:

  • Sherry Quan, National Director of Communications & Media Relations, Avison Young: 604.647-5098; mobile: 604.726-0959

  • Mark Rose, Chair and CEO, Avison Young: 416.673.4028

  • Earl Webb, President, U.S. Operations, Avison Young: 312.957.7610

  • Jim Becker, Principal and Managing Director, Detroit, Avison Young: 313.510.2825

  • Scott Pickett, Principal & Managing Director, Columbus, Ohio, Avison Young: 614.264.4400

Avison Young's new Columbus, Ohio office is located at: 88 East Broad Street, Suite 1740, Columbus, Ohio 43215


Avison Young was a winner of Canada's Best Managed Companies program in 2011 and requalified in 2012 to maintain its status as a Best Managed company.

Follow Avison Young on Twitter:
For industry news, press releases and market reports: www.twitter.com/avisonyoung
For Avison Young listings and deals: www.twitter.com/AYListingsDeals

Follow Avison Young Bloggers: http://blog.avisonyoung.com

Follow Avison Young on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/avison-young-commercial-real-estate

SOURCE Avison Young Commercial Real Estate (BC)

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