Real estate firms ending affiliate relationship


Van Martin. Courtesy Martin Commercial Properties

A local commercial real estate firm will no longer be a corporate affiliate soon.

CBRE, Inc. and CBRE | Martin said yesterday CBRE | Martin will break off and re-brand as Martin Commercial Properties, effective Jan. 1.

The decision was "mutual" between CBRE | Martin and CBRE and will affect the East Lansing base of CBRE | Martin and its CBRE | Grand Rapids office.

The firms "expect to work together on a non-exclusive basis on certain new assignments in the Grand Rapids and Lansing markets going forward."

“CBRE thanks Van Martin and the firm’s professionals for their dedication and efforts in serving clients,” said John Latessa, president, Midwest Region, CBRE. “We wish them continued success.”

CBRE is shrinking its affiliate program, and as of press time, at least three other CBRE affiliates have ended their partnerships with CBRE, according to Luke Miller, marketing manager, Martin Commercial Properties.

Van Martin, chairman and CEO of Martin Commercial Properties, said in a several cases, CBRE tried to acquire its former affiliates.

The decision to go independent is actually more of a return to form for the firm, Martin said.

Even though his firm has been an affiliate of CBRE for 20 years, the firm has always operated under the legal entity Martin Commercial Properties.

“The exciting thing for us is we now have the freedom to operate anywhere — any of the major markets that exist in Michigan or outside of Michigan,” Martin said. “Before we were kind of restricted. This kind of takes the shackles off.”

The name change will not affect the firm's client relations, Martin said, and all of Martin Commercial Properties’ operations and support services will be, and have been, fully independent.

“We’ve been quite capable,” Martin said. “I like to think we’ve been capable for a long period of time. At the end of the day, most of these firms in West Michigan are independent.”

Martin Commercial Properties was founded in 1962 by the late William Martin and became a CBRE affiliate in 1998.

Van Martin’s son, Cutler Martin, will join the firm next summer.

In Michigan, CBRE also has a wholly owned office in Detroit.

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