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Canadian Real Estate Brokerage Expands U.S. Reach Through South Florida Purchases

Melissa C. Pallett-Vasquez

Canadian Real Estate Brokerage Avison Young, Inc. recently expanded its U.S. reach when it announced last week that it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Miami-based commercial real estate brokerage and property management firm Abood Wood-Fay Real Estate Group, LLC. The purchase will net Avison Young control of over 20 million square feet of Florida real estate.

Abood Wood-Fay was formed in 2002, and in 2005 the company aligned with Colliers. Headquartered in Coral Gables, the company boasted a portfolio of over one million square feet of managed property, six million square feet of property for lease and sale, and over 2,000 acres of commercial land.  Michael Fay and Donna Abood will become principals of Avison Young.

Though certainly an impressive acquisition, it’s not Avison Young’s first acquisition in Florida. In fact, the Abood Wood-Fay purchase is its third in the past 18 months, having purchased WG Compass Realty Cos. in West Palm Beach, L&W Commercial Property Management and Lane Witherspoon & Carswell Commercial Real Estate Advisors in Tampa.  And it doesn’t seem Avison Young is ready to stop, as explained by its CEO Mark E. Rose,

“[t]his strategic acquisition will give Avison Young an even broader client-service platform in the Florida market as we continue to expand our capabilities throughout the U.S. and overseas.”

Avison Young currently manages over 70 million square feet of real estate across Canada and the U.S., employing over 1,600 professionals in 60 offices spanning North America and Europe. Its new acquisition consists of an over 70-employee operation that includes brokerage services, project management, sales, leasing, research, marketing and real estate investment advice. Avison Young did not announce the terms of the deal, but it should close in 30 days.

This acquisition is just another example of the continued expansion of Canadian investment in Florida; a trend which shows no signs of slowing down and one that Bilzin Sumberg continues to stay at the forefront of by speaking and writing on the topic of cross border investments.

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