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Boutique Firm Podolsky Circle Merging With Colliers

Alissa Adler

Boutique commercial real estate firms are becoming rarer as many now choose to merge with the industry's top brands, and Colliers International | Chicago just snapped up one of Chicago's best-known boutique outfits.

The firm announced Wednesday it will merge with Podolsky Circle effective Sept. 1. Podolsky’s entire professional staff, a total of nine employees and seven independent contractors, will then operate under the Colliers brand.

"The small firms offer boutique services to clients, but many clients also now want multi-market capabilities," said Jim Carris, executive managing director and market leader for Colliers | Chicago.

The scale of companies like Colliers give boutiques like Podolsky, founded by Milton Podolsky in 1971, national and even global opportunities, as well as far greater marketing power.

“From a business standpoint, it is a mutually beneficial relationship while culturally it is a great fit — we expect a seamless integration,” Carris said. 

He also said the Podolsky team will greatly strengthen Colliers' capital markets group and industrial brokerage efforts. Colliers will fold Podolsky’s 32-building, 2.1M SF property management portfolio into its existing portfolio.

“As the commercial real estate industry continues to shift from a local/regional business focus to a more global focus, it became clear that we needed a partner with a successful, unified platform,” Podolsky managing principal Alissa Adler said. “Colliers is well known for its global reach as well as its entrepreneurial approach to business."

Carris expects many of the remaining boutique firms to make similar choices.

“Many of these firms have new and aggressive leadership that is thinking differently and really see advantages to aligning themselves with the big firms,” he said. 

Carris, who has been in charge for just over a year, said there could be similar mergers in the near future.

“This was the first under my leadership, but we see the potential for more.”