Real estate firm expands to Vancouver

CB Richard Ellis specializes in commercial market




Global real estate firm CB Richard Ellis has positioned itself to await what could be a lengthy, but lucrative comeback for Clark County’s industrial, office and retail market.

The commercial real estate company recently opened a Vancouver office in the West Coast Bank Building, 500 E. Broadway. Staffed with three specialists, the satellite office is a first for CB Richard Ellis, which previously served Southwest Washington from its Portland office at 1300 S.W. Fifth Ave. The Los Angeles-based company has operated in Portland since 1973.

It could take several months for Clark County’s real estate market to regain its health, said Mike Wells, managing director of the commercial real estate company’s regional office in Portland. He believes it is only a matter of time, based on the community’s public and private efforts to lure employers to the region.

Wells said his company is aware of the countywide focus on economic development, including draft recommendations offered by the Columbia River Economic Development Council. The 125-member organization is in the process of reviewing a countywide comprehensive strategic plan it commissioned from Texas-based TIP Strategies Inc.

Wells said many of Clark County’s employers of future workers are already located here as companies that plan to expand or transfer to larger quarters.

“The landlords here know that many of their prospective tenants are in Clark County,” said Wells, who joined CB Richard Ellis in June.

He said the company stands to benefit by having its sales force physically stationed in Southwest Washington.

Sales often depend on personal interactions in the commercial real estate business, where associates match companies to land and to buildings for lease or for sale, Wells said.

“We felt that having a commitment and presence in the local market would increase our business,” he said.

Employees of the Vancouver office of CB Richard Ellis include Kimberly Fuherer, a commercial spaces senior real estate manager who will head the property management side of the local office; Jason Green, an office specialist and a senior associate broker; and Alex Martinac, a retail specialist and associate broker.

The company’s 100-employee Portland office is one of the largest commercial real estate brokerages in the city.