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NGKF makes big move into multifamily arena

By Dan Orlando

Newmark Grubb Knight Frank is on the hunt for a multi-family sales powerhouse following news this week that the company has purchased Apartment Realty Advisors (ARA).

JAMES KUHN
JAMES KUHN

“I think it’s fair to say that we bought possibly the best brand in the multifamily brokerage space in the country,” said James Kuhn, president of NGKF. “We think that New York presents a great opportunity to take advantage of that brand.

“One of the things we find is some of the top investment sales brokers in New York are generalists and they sell all product types — some better than others — and what we hope to do is find a great team that specializes in multifamily.”

NGKF parent, BGC Partners, Inc. announced on Monday that it has entered into agreements to acquire ARA and its members for $110 million. ARA is the nation’s largest privately held, full-service investment brokerage network, focusing exclusively on the multi-housing industry.

The acquisitions are expected to significantly drive NGKF’s growth within the multi-housing capital markets space.
After the closings, they are expected to generate annual revenues in excess of $100 million and pre-tax distributable earnings in excess of $20 million.

“Acquiring ARA and its members represents an attractive opportunity for NGKF and will substantially add to the revenues and earnings of our real estate capital markets business,” said Howard W. Lutnick, chairman and CEO of BGC Partners.

“We expect ARA to strengthen NGKF’s position as one of the top commercial real estate advisory firms and further add to the value and importance of real estate to BGC’s overall business.”

HOWARD LUTNICK
HOWARD LUTNICK

Noting that ARA was recently ranked number two in multi-family sales by Real Estate Alert, Kuhn, who led the acquisition effort, said, “The multi-housing market is a highly attractive one, as apartment construction has grown at more than three times the rate of single family housing over the past five years according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“ARA’s recent volume growth has outpaced the overall commercial sales market, making it a compelling business proposition and a strong strategic fit for our capital markets platform.”

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