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Image, Recruitment, Cachet: What's At Stake For C&W's Coming RFP

One of Atlanta's largest full-service CRE firms, which kicks tires for tenants all over the market, is looking to kick tires itself.


Cushman & Wakefield is in the early stages of exploring its office space use, especially in light of its recent merger with DTZ, which has bequeathed it with two significant offices here: 55 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd and 171 17th St in Atlantic Station. While no official RFP has hit the markets, sources tell us the firm will look to possibly merge the two offices into a single location encompassing up to 80k SF.

City Commercial Real Estate founder Rick Lackey

Cushman & Wakefield's John O'Neill declined to comment. Among the Big Three CRE brokerage houses in Atlanta—along with JLL and CBRE—C&W also is now straddling two submarkets thanks to DTZ's Atlantic Station/Midtown home. And in which submarket to consolidate is a decision C&W will potentially have to make.

Because, like the rest of corporate America, where CRE brokerage firms office is tied up with marketing, image and recruitment of Millennials, says REAL Professionals Network CEO Rick Lackey (who used to run Newmark Grubb Knight Frank in Atlanta when it was once simply known as Grubb & Ellis).

Everything is about recruiting talent,” Rick says. “I've heard the younger agents talk about living the dream, living in Midtown and working in Midtown, living that Millennial lifestyle. So I would think that [C&W decision-makers] are going to pay attention to that.”

Midtown Atlanta skyline

There are other factors that C&W may also consider that could be unique to full-service brokerage firms: Office space also is a marketing statement.

“They have to advise corporate clients on a very large scale about workplace strategies,” Rick says. “I think there's also some cachet with having a major brokerage company that's chosen your building. They feel like it's a world-class location.”