Los Angeles, January 16, 2015 – CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG) today announced that it has acquired United Commercial Realty (UCR), a Dallas, Texas-based commercial real estate firm specializing in retail services. UCR, known as one of the most innovative and successful retail real estate advisors in the U.S., manages retail properties for institutional investors nationally and provides brokerage services for them and for leading retailers across Texas and other markets.
“The UCR professionals are a wonderful addition to our team in Texas and our national retail brokerage and property management business,” said Michael Caffey, executive managing director, Texas Region, CBRE. “UCR has a reputation for premier service, creative marketing concepts, innovative retail strategies and exceptional client outcomes. They fit perfectly into our culture and will enable us to expand the range of services we can provide to retail clients.”
UCR was founded in 1988. In 1991 Mickey Ashmore joined the company as its leader and eventually became a primary owner. Today, UCR provides leasing, property management, asset management and investment sales services for retail investors and tenants. The company manages approximately eight million sq. ft. of retail properties across the U.S. for institutional investors such as Prudential Real Estate Investors, Deutsche Asset and Wealth Management, Invesco, Heitman and Miller Capital Advisory. In addition, UCR and its urban leasing division serve as leasing agent for 20 million sq. ft. of shopping centers nationally, including many premier mixed-use properties and lifestyle and regional shopping centers. On the tenant representation side, UCR currently represents over 200 retailers and restaurants, including Target, Capital One, Sprouts, Sur La Table, Victoria’s Secret, Athleta, the Gap and Starbucks. As part of this transaction, CBRE is also acquiring UCR’s affiliate office in Austin.
“We are very pleased to join with CBRE,” said Mr. Ashmore. “I am sure that this union will enable us to meet the needs of our clients more completely, and in more markets, than ever before. This is the natural evolution for our company.”
UCR’s staff of more than 100 professionals will join CBRE, including Mr. Ashmore and Asset Services (property management) leader Scott Weaver. Mr. Ashmore will become Vice Chairman, Retail Services for CBRE, with responsibility for directing key national retail strategies for the firm, while overseeing CBRE’s retail operations throughout the state of Texas. Mr. Weaver will become a Senior Managing Director in CBRE’s Asset Services team, with responsibility for Retail Asset Services nationally, while also driving new retail business across the U.S.
“Our institutional retail investor clients will greatly benefit from our joining CBRE’s global platform while continuing to receive the laser-like focus our professionals bring to providing superior quality service and creating value,” said Mr. Weaver.
UCR is the second regional retail real estate firm CBRE has acquired in the past 16 months, following its purchase of Fameco in September, 2013. “The UCR acquisition reflects our strategy to strengthen our position in the retail real estate sector nationally,” said Cal Frese, chief executive officer, Americas, for CBRE. “We see considerable opportunity to enhance the depth and breadth of our service offering to retail investors and occupiers across the country, and this transaction advances this strategic agenda and helps ensure we have the best retail platform in the Americas.”