CDPQ-backed Avison Young buys Strategic Retail Group

Avison Young, which is backed by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, has acquired Phoenix-based Strategic Retail Group, a retail brokerage practice. No financial terms were disclosed. Avison is a Toronto-based commercial real estate services provider. SRG is rebranded as Avison Young with nine SRG staffers joining Avison Young in Phoenix.


TORONTO, Oct. 8, 2019 /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 Phoenix-based Strategic Retail Group (SRG).

The purchase establishes Avison Young’s retail brokerage practice in Arizona and complements the firm’s existing retail property management services in the state. The acquisition also enhances the company’s U.S. and global retail real estate services as well as its full-service platform.

Founded in 2006, SRG has advised local and regional clients, and negotiated transactions on their behalf, in relation to retail project leasing, new developments, tenant representation, landlord advisory services and investment sales services. SRG has also successfully implemented strategic site-selection and expansion plans for national and regional retail tenants in large and small markets throughout Arizona.

Effective immediately, SRG is rebranded as Avison Young and nine members from SRG join Avison Young in Phoenix. Matt Milinovich, James DeCremer and David Jarand become Principals of Avison Young with a mandate to manage and grow the company’s retail brokerage practice in Arizona. In addition, they will continue to service existing and new clients.

“We’re thrilled that Matt, James, David and their team are joining the Avison Young family as we expand our Arizona business-line coverage by adding retail brokerage services,” comments Rose. “The SRG team’s professionals have proven track records of providing creative property and business solutions for a vast array of retail investors, owners, landlords and tenants.”

Rose continues: “Matt, James, David and their team are known for their innovative approach and will provide a high level of retail brokerage service to clients throughout the greater Phoenix area and the rest of Arizona as well as other U.S. and international markets. With SRG, they have built and grown one of the strongest and most talented retail brokerage organizations in Arizona. Their sophisticated market knowledge, positive client and business relationships and outstanding leadership skills will be of tremendous benefit to our company, clients and partners alike.”
Milinovich, DeCremer and Jarand bring a combined 70 years of commercial real estate industry experience to Avison Young. They will work closely with David Genovese, Avison Young Principal and Managing Director of the company’s Arizona office; and with Mark Seale, Avison Young Principal and Director of Brokerage Services in Arizona.

“We are excited to have the SRG team joining Avison Young in Arizona,” says Genovese. “For the past year, Mark Seale and I have wanted to expand our retail presence in Arizona and beyond. We have known Matt, James and David personally and professionally for years; more importantly, we have respected the positive reputation SRG has earned within the retail brokerage community. Matt, James and David have built an organization that provides award-winning brokerage services, and the team members personify Avison Young’s dedication to putting the client first and building longstanding relationships. Culturally, we couldn’t ask for a better fit.”

Also joining Avison Young from SRG are: Matt Schrauth, senior vice-president; Josh Stewart, vice-president; Peter McQuaid, vice-president; Kristina Remon, senior associate; Alec Miller, senior associate; and Dena Brown, client services co-ordinator.

“The acquisition of SRG allows us to grow our retail property service line across the U.S. Southwest,” states Earl Webb, Avison Young’s President, U.S. Operations. “We believe that Arizona, particularly the greater Phoenix area, is an underserved retail real estate market. There are many untapped retail property development, sales and leasing opportunities throughout the state due in part to Arizona’s strong appeal to Canadian snowbirds and tourists from across the globe. Arizona residents also have a strong desire to experience new bricks-and-mortar retail locations that suit their shopping and lifestyle needs. Increasing mixed-use development and the continually expanding synergies between the retail, hospitality and health care property markets render Arizona an ideal region for the development of innovative retail properties.”

Avison Young currently has 6 million square feet of office, medical, industrial and retail space under management and nearly 30 brokers representing clients in Arizona. The firm opened its Phoenix office in April 2016 through the acquisition of GPE Companies and has steadily expanded in the region since then.

“We are thrilled to be joining Avison Young and to be able to work closely with David Genovese and Mark Seale to grow the firm’s retail presence in the Phoenix market and beyond,” says Milinovich. “This is a tremendous opportunity for our team to join forces with Avison Young’s Phoenix team and jointly improve upon the services and expertise that we are able to deliver to our clients, including retail property management services. Avison Young’s collaborative culture was a strong draw for our group of brokers, and we look forward to providing our existing clients with the tools that Avison Young’s international platform offers.”

Today’s announcement follows Avison Young’s acquisition of McKinney Advisory Group, Inc. on October 7, 2019, Hamburg, Germany-based Völckers & Cie Immobilien GmbH Real Estate Advisors on July 2, 2019, and U.K.-based GVA on February 1, 2019.

Matt Milinovich
Matt Milinovich brings 22 years of commercial real estate industry experience to Avison Young, most recently as a co-founder and partner with SRG. Prior to launching SRG in 2006, he was a senior vice-president in Trammell Crow Company’s retail division in Phoenix. Before his move to Trammell Crow, he was a senior associate with Capital Retail Group. Milinovich is active in the industry as a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers. He is a past recipient of the CoStar Power Broker Award.

James DeCremer
James DeCremer brings 16 years of commercial real estate experience to Avison Young, most recently as a partner with SRG. Prior to joining SRG in 2007, he spent three years with Global Retail Development Group, where he was the director of site acquisitions, and two years as a broker with Landmark Commercial Real Estate. DeCremer’s clients have included landlords, tenants, developers and investors, and his areas of expertise include project leasing and pad sales of power centres, grocery-anchored shopping centres and mixed-use projects. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse.

David Jarand
David Jarand brings more than 30 years of commercial real estate industry experience to Avison Young, most recently as a partner with SRG. Prior to joining SRG in 2012, he held senior vice-president, broker and regional real estate manager positions with Grubb & Ellis, The Silk & Stewart Development Group, Phoenix Commercial Advisors and Egghead Software.

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, with legacies dating back more than 200 years, the company comprises approximately 5,000 real estate professionals in 120 offices in 20 countries. The firm’s experts provide value-added, client-centric investment sales, leasing, advisory, management and financing services to clients across the office, retail, industrial, multi-family and hospitality sectors.