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Former JLL, WS Development Exec Joins CBRE’s Boston Retail Team

CBRE Boston Senior Vice President Greg Covey

CBRE is showing its commitment to expansion in Boston’s hard-hit retail sector with the addition of a 15-year commercial real estate veteran.

Greg Covey, who spent the last two years as WS Development’s senior director of leasing, has joined CBRE as senior vice president of the firm’s Boston office. His focus will be retail in the Boston market’s urban core, according to a news release from CBRE.

“With more than 15 years of commercial real estate experience, we’re excited to welcome Greg to CBRE,” New England Division President Andy Hoar said in the release. “Greg’s diverse background and market expertise will allow CBRE to continue to offer our clients exceptional results, even during these challenging and unprecedented times in the retail sector.”  

Covey will work with CBRE Boston Senior Vice President Matt Curtin in advising landlords and tenants on retail strategy, expansion and lease negotiations. He will also work with CBRE Vice President Joseph Hudson, who focuses on national retailer strategy and representation. 

“It’s an honor to join CBRE and align with best-in-class advisors across the retail spectrum and beyond,” Covey said in the release. “I am thrilled for the opportunity to work directly with proven thought leaders Matt and Joe, and help to build upon their team’s success in the greater Boston area and across the country.”

Prior to his time with WS Development, Covey spent nine years with retail leasing and investment sales brokerage RKF in New York City as a vice president, according to his LinkedIn profile, leaving for a senior vice president role at JLL about two years before RKF’s 2018 sale to Newmark Knight Frank.

Covey has worked on leases for some of the most recognizable retailers, including representing Puma in the deal for its 24K SF Fifth Avenue flagship store in 2018. He has also represented owners such as CIM Group, Property Group Partners, Credit Suisse and American Express.

CBRE’s expansion comes at an interesting time for retail. The sector didn't have a rosy national outlook at the beginning of the year, and along with hotels, it has been the sector most savaged by the coronavirus pandemic-induced economic downturn. 

Boston has not been spared. Fifty-five Newbury Street storefronts were vacant in September, although an early August sale for nearly $2,500 per SF in the shopping district showed some remain bullish on Boston retail’s long-term prospects.