PE-backed Avison Young buys Arizona’s GPE Companies

Avison Young Inc has acquired Phoenix, Arizona-based GPE Management Services LLC and GPE Commercial Advisors LLC, which together do business as the GPE Companies. No financial terms were released. The acquisition of GPE, a commercial real estate business and healthcare real estate specialist, provides Avison with a new office in Phoenix. Avison, a Toronto-based commercial real estate services company, has been backed by Tricor Pacific Capital since 2011. It is now part of the portfolio of Tricor’s successor Parallel49 Equity.


Avison Young acquires The GPE Companies, opens new office in Phoenix, Arizona; 29 members join

Purchase marks firm’s entry in Arizona; David Genovese becomes Managing Director

TORONTO, April 4, 2016 /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, Arizona-based GPE Management Services, LLC and GPE Commercial Advisors, LLC, doing business as The GPE Companies, and opened a new office in Phoenix, Arizona.

The newest American office represents Avison Young’s first office in Arizona, 52nd office in the U.S., and an additional step in the firm’s ongoing aggressive growth and expansion strategy.

Over the past seven years, Avison Young has grown from 11 to, now, 77 offices in 70 markets and from 300 to more than 2,200 real estate professionals in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and Europe.

GPE Companies is a privately held, third-party real estate firm that has been serving a range of clients, from private individual investors to publicly traded corporations to international investment groups, for the past 43 years in Arizona. GPE is a leader in Arizona’s commercial real estate market, offering services for all property types, including office, retail, flex/industrial and land. In addition, the firm has a division specializing in all areas of healthcare real estate. Over the past four decades, the company has facilitated acquisitions and sales transactions exceeding $2.5 billion in real estate value. GPE also represents 6 million square feet (msf) of commercial space under management in the Phoenix metro area.

Today’s acquisition brings Avison Young’s total square feet of retail, industrial and office properties under management in North America to approximately 100 msf. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Effective immediately, GPE is rebranded as Avison Young. The change in ownership adds 29 employees to Avison Young’s operations, including David Genovese, Julie Johnson and Alexandra Loye who become Principals of Avison Young. Genovese also becomes Managing Director of the company’s Phoenix office. He will focus on overseeing the growth and development of Avison Young’s presence in the Phoenix region, servicing new and existing clients, and managing the day-to-day operations of the office. Genovese brings to Avison Young 30 years of commercial real estate experience – all with GPE, where he was most recently President, designated broker and principal.

“We are pleased to be opening our first office in Phoenix,” comments Rose. “The acquisition of GPE provides Avison Young with a strong foundation, particularly in terms of brokerage and property management, in Arizona as we begin to roll out our expansion program in the state. With David and the rest of the GPE team on board, we are again adding individuals who are respected for their leadership, extensive industry experience and in-depth local market knowledge. More importantly, we also know that they will fit seamlessly into our Principal-led, collaborative culture and provide a superior level of service to clients.”

Also joining Avison Young from GPE are: Nicholas Pelusio, Bret Isbell, Kevin Helland, Kristie Jones, Brooke Askew-Rossi, Lei Anne Oborne, Dominic Perry, Gail Brown, Jennifer Pliska, Laurie Sandau, Linda Robbins, Tracey Galligan, Tom Kimsey, Marion Chaney, Gregory Leverton, Becky Bishop, Esther Grabowsky, Gina Gringle, Jonathan Collins, Jason Gutierrez, Angela Williams, Jen Day, Amanda Knight, Rogelio Martinez, Jamie Svobodo and Ronald Genovese (company founder).

“We think very highly of the GPE organization and the presence that it has established in Phoenix, which is a rapidly growing market that is gaining in importance to many of our occupier and investor clients,” stats Earl Webb, Avison Young President, U.S. Operations. “GPE has built a high-quality service platform, with dynamic leadership, and Avison Young looks forward to growing our company’s presence in this important U.S. market – through the acquisition of this firm as well as future additions to staff in all areas of our business. David Genovese is someone who has consistently provided excellent client service during his career while building a broad-based service platform at GPE. Additionally, the company has a number of senior managers and brokers who will fit the Avison Young culture perfectly and continue to enhance our client-service capabilities in the Phoenix market and beyond.”

GPE was ranked the number one brokerage firm (24 brokers or fewer and medical categories) in AZ Big Media’s 2016 “Ranking Arizona: The Best of Arizona Business” list, and among the top five in the industrial, property management and best workplace culture categories, and among the top 10 in the retail and land categories.

“With Phoenix, Avison Young now has a local presence in all major American markets,” adds Hiren Thakar, Avison Young Principal and Senior Vice-President of Corporate Strategy. “With this acquisition, we have quickly established a presence in one of the largest and fastest-growing metro markets in the U.S. Furthermore, GPE is a well-established player in the highly dynamic medical office market, which is becoming increasingly important to our clients across the country. David and his team will now be able to take advantage of Avison Young’s extensive resources to better serve the thriving medical office property sector in Phoenix. At the same time, his team will be able to collaborate with other Avison Young offices and provide multi-market medical office solutions for clients.”

Effective immediately, Avison Young’s Phoenix office is located in downtown Phoenix at 2777 East Camelback Road, Suite 230.

“After successfully spanning more than 40 years as a local firm, GPE recognized the need to expand its reach globally to provide its clients with the best investment opportunities and resources to thrive,” says Genovese. “In joining Avison Young, our staff has the opportunity to benefit from an international platform and expanded expertise, which will allow us to be positioned as a leader in the Phoenix commercial real estate market. While GPE was a strong player in Phoenix, the opportunity for growth by joining Avison Young is timely and important given the recent merger and acquisition activity in the industry. We are proud to have found a partner in Avison Young that shares our values of client focus, respect, performance, teamwork, innovation, integrity and quality of life. We’re very excited to begin collaborating with our new colleagues across the U.S. and in Mexico, Canada and Europe.”

Avison Young opened its first western U.S. office in Los Angeles in 2011 and today has four offices in Los Angeles, plus offices in Orange County, San Diego, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Oakland, San Mateo, Sacramento, Reno and Denver.

With nearly 4.4 million people, Greater Phoenix is the 13th largest metropolitan area in the U.S., and the region’s population is expected to nearly double in the next two decades, according to City of Phoenix statistics. Thanks to a young and diverse market with nearly 500,000 students, the region is home to several major universities and colleges, including the University of Arizona and Arizona State University. Located at the center of several municipalities, including Scottsdale and Glendale, Phoenix comprises 60% of the metro area population. With the population’s average age falling below 35, Phoenix is a young city with new development as well as more centralized urban redevelopment.

Major industries include manufacturing, tourism and business services as well as the biomedical sector, construction, transportation and utilities. Several Fortune 500 companies operate within the area, such as Boeing, Bank of America, Time Warner Telecom, IBM and Intel. In addition, Phoenix’s physical infrastructure is sophisticated and robust, allowing the city to expand at a rapid pace, with plenty of capacity to support anticipated future growth. The region is located at the center of market areas stretching along interstate highways from Southern California to western Texas, Colorado, Utah and Mexico.

Today’s announcement comes on the heels of Avison Young acquiring North Rae Sanders and opening a new office in Coventry, U.K. on January 11, 2016; acquiring Toronto-based property appraisal company Metrix Realty Group (Ontario) Inc. on January 4, 2016; and opening new offices in Memphis, Tennessee on December 7, 2015 and in Mexico City on December 2, 2015.



David Genovese
David Genovese has spent his entire 30-year commercial real estate industry career with GPE Companies in Phoenix, where he rose to the position of President, designated broker and principal. Genovese’s in-depth knowledge and experience span all aspects of commercial real estate management and brokerage. During his time as President of GPE, he developed extensive experience in property and facility operations, tenant and capital improvements, transaction negotiations, sales and marketing strategies, business planning as well as direction and supervision of staff, vendors and consultants. He has also gained comprehensive knowledge of commercial real estate investments, development, accounting, funding, negotiations, and property management functions, becoming a leading expert and mentor to brokers and staff. He often provides his services not only as consultant, but also as an expert witness.

Genovese holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business from Arizona State University. He serves the industry as a member of Lambda Alpha International (LAI), a global land economics society where top professionals connect; NAIOP and Valley Partnership. In his community, he supports the Scottsdale Sister Cities program and the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Phoenix, and has served as a board member for non-profits and charities.

Julie Johnson
Julie Johnson brings to Avison Young more than 25 years of experience in the healthcare real estate industry for both medical office and senior-living clients, including leasing, sales for investors and owner/users, and site selection. She launched her career in commercial real estate in 1989 and, in 1993, earned the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation from the Commercial Investment Real Estate Institute.

Johnson attended Arizona State University on academic scholarships from Phelps Dodge and the Arizona Board of Regents and holds a Bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering. She is an active member of NAIOP, the Urban Land Institute (ULI), CCIM, CoreNet Global, AZ Bio, CASHE, Lambda Alpha International (LAI), and Phoenix Community Alliance (PCA). She sits on the board of Friends of Public Radio Arizona and Social Venture Partners (SVP), and is an active leader with Teach for America. She is also the founder of Healthcare Chicks.

Alexandra Loye
Alexandra Loye has seven years of experience in commercial real estate brokerage and research. Most recently, she was Senior Vice-President at GPE Commercial Advisors, where she focused on leasing and sales of medical and office buildings, tenant/buyer representation, and senior housing investment sales and site selection. Prior to joining GPE, she was a Senior Associate with NAI Horizon in Phoenix where she focused on national investment/distressed sales and local medical/office sales and leasing. She started her brokerage career as an associate at Grubb and Ellis and, while in college, was an intern at Cushman & Wakefield in Arizona and San Diego.

Loye was featured as one of “Tomorrow’s Leaders” by Southwest Real Estate magazine in 2014 and as an “Emerging National Leader in Healthcare” by Real Estate Forum magazine in 2015. She attended Arizona State University where she received a scholarship from AZCREW and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business real estate. She is an active member of NAIOP and the Urban Land Institute (ULI), and is a CCIM candidate.

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 2,200 real estate professionals in 77 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.

For further information/comment/photos:
•Sherry Quan, Principal, Global 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
•Hiren Thakar, Principal, Senior VP of Corporate Strategy, Avison Young: 312.273.4500
•David Genovese, Principal & Managing Director, Phoenix, Avison Young: 480.994.8155

Avison Young’s new Phoenix office is located at: 2777 East Camelback Road, Suite 230, Phoenix, AZ 85016

Avison Young was a winner of Canada’s Best Managed Companies program in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 and requalified in 2015 to maintain its status as a Best Managed Gold company

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Photo courtesy of Avison Young Inc