NAI Hiffman merging with Nicolson, Porter & List, eyeing bigger industrial share

The merged company is seeking to grab a bigger slice of the Chicago area’s booming industrial market

Feb.February 01, 2019 03:30 PM

NAI Hiffman’s Michael Flynn and NPL President Paul Gearen

Industrial brokerage Nicolson, Porter & List is merging with NAI Hiffman in a deal that could help the combined company grab a bigger share of the Chicago area’s booming industrial market.

Founded in 1910, NPL will be folded into NAI Hiffman, which is working to expand its Oakbrook Terrace headquarters to accommodate the new staff, said Michael Flynn, NAI’s chief operating officer.

The merger will be completed by March 1.

NAI Hiffman, established in 2000, is a commercial brokerage that works in the office, retail and industrial sectors. Among its listings are the sprawling former AT&T campus in Hoffman Estates, as well as a Fulton Market lot that was the site of MAB Capital Management’s now-scuttled office tower plan.

On the industrial side, NAI last year helped broker the deal that will allow Bridge Development partners to build more than 500,000 square feet of warehouse space on Chicago’s West Side.

The merger with NPL will help NAI grow its share in the industrial market, Flynn said. NPL works exclusively in the industrial sector and is currently handling leasing for 18 properties in some of the hottest submarkets in the area, according to its website.

“There’s robust activity in the in the industrial marketplace, and we’ve been able to grow our portfolio there,” Flynn said. “This gives us a chance to grow our market share in a growing sector.”

The merged company will give the former NPL brokers access to better technology and in-house services, Flynn said, which will help the firm grow. NPL lists six brokers on its website.

“We feel we have some outstanding industrial agents joining us,” Flynn said. “Our platform will help them elevate our business.”

NAI has 160 real estate professionals in 13 offices throughout the Midwest. It leases and manages a portfolio of more than 700 commercial properties in the area, according to its website. It is the local branch of New York-based NAI Global, which has offices in 400 markets throughout the world.

Chicago has one of the hottest industrial markets in the country. This summer saw industrial vacancy rates hit a 17-year-low. And third-quarter leasing activity for the sector was the highest in three years. Through three quarters, industrial investment sales were on track to set a new record for the Chicago market.

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