TNRG's Whole Brokerage Arm Moves to Lee & Associates
Lee & Associates has entered Houston in a big way, first hiring the office brokers from Griffin and now snagging all 17 industrial brokers at TNRG. But it’s not a hostile takeover; Griffin still partners with its former team to lease its portfolio. The same is happening at TNRG—it will remain an active development firm, with the new Lee brokers continuing to lease those properties. Mike Spears (pictured with his family) will head the local Lee industrial arm and serve as co-managing principal over the office with Chris Lewis. He tells us TNRG had been evaluating its model for about three years, considering adding an office team or merging with another company. About a year ago, he started talking with Chris, and Mike was drawn to Lee’s entrepreneurial environment and its national platform. Lee’s the largest broker-owned brokerage in the US, a model that fits with what Mike’s been building at TNRG.
Chris tells us Lee’s best known as an industrial tenant rep firm across the country. It’s been really pushing the growth of its office capabilities, but it’s happy to offer its bread-and-butter industrial brokerage in the Houston office. Chris is excited to bring on such a large team at once; it was his dream goal, but he expected a slower ramp-up to the industrial division. Lee now has 28 brokers in Houston, and it aims to continue its rapid expansion. Chris jokes he’s feeling outnumbered now with Mike’s team around, so he’ll need to add some more office guys (he’s targeting veteran hires) and chase some new landlord assignments.