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C&W to open Mexican office.

Cushman & Wakefield is heading south" the border.

On the heels of the United States signing a free trade agreement with Mexico and in anticipation of increased growth, the New York-based commercial real estate services firm has entered into a joint venture brokerage agreement with a Mexican real estate concern.

Cushman & Wakefield/GCI, a collaboration of Mexico City-based Grupo Comercial Inmobiliario (GCI) and the New York-based Cushman & Wakefield, is already representing a number of American corporate tenants in Mexican markets and handling a number of exclusive agencies for Fondo Opcion, a major Mexican developer and investment fund.

In addition to Mexico City, the firm will also represent the commercial and industrial needs of clients in Monterrey, Guadalajara and along the U.S.-Mexican border.

According to David Gialanella, Cushman & Wakefield managing director: "U. S. corporations are clearly positioning themselves with the opportunities [presented by] a country that has made major inroads economically and is poised to increase that growth."

Mexico City, for one, Gialanella said, is a financial capital with an office market of approximately 70 million square feet and a vacancy rate around 6 percent. There is a lot of building activity and considerable demand, especially with tenants trading up to Class-A space, he said.

"One sees a market more well balanced than many U.S. markets and more well balanced than many European markets," he said.

The country's office market, he said, is relatively new and strong market that is experiencing a boon, much to the credit of its president, Carlos Salinas.

"It's one," he said, "being buoyed by very attractive stock market. It's being buoyed by a president that has the foresight to know you're not going to grow a country by isolating it.

"Mexico is not a third-world country. It's not a secondary country. It's a primary financial market. We can't ignore South America any longer."

The venture will be staffed with a managing director - candidates from within Cushman & Wakefield are currently being reviewed, and seven office and industrial brokers. In addition to Mexican nationals, several Cushman & Wakefield brokers will relocate to Mexico City. A board of directors or managers will be comprised of three Cushman & Wakefield executives and three from GCI.

According to Gialanella, Cushman & Wakefield will "nnnnnnnnnnnnnnfill a void" by bringing the sophistication that American corporations "are used to and demand." Cushman & Wakefield/GCI will set up a market research data base to provide statistics on the Mexican market.

Gialanella said the Mexican operation will function with the same principles as other Cushman & Wakefield branches.

Since 1990, Cushman & Wakefield has had a similar arrangement with Healey & Baker, a London-based real estate consultancy, with the aim of providing services for its clients throughout Europe. The company reports it is exploring other relationships in Canada, Japan and South America.
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Title Annotation:Cushman and Wakefield Inc.
Author:Fitzgerald, Therese
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Oct 28, 1992
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