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Development Firm Lowe To Expand Into Commercial Brokerage With National Ambitions

A rendering of Lowe's office-to-apartment conversion project at the Park Center complex in Alexandria, Virginia.

Los Angeles-based development firm Lowe is getting into the commercial brokerage business.

Lowe announced on Monday the formation of Skye Commercial, a wholly owned subsidiary based in Denver, with a goal of expanding across the West Coast and, eventually, into a national concern, the company said in a press release. Lowe has tapped Alec Wynne, who launched Avison Young's Denver office in 2012, to lead Skye as managing broker.

Skye intends to start its growth in cities where Lowe already has development offices, such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix and Seattle, CoStar reports. Down the line, Dallas and Chicago will be targets for expansion.

"I don't think another developer of Lowe's caliber has launched a brokerage with national intent," Wynne told CoStar in an interview. "I'm sure it's been done, but on a more localized basis."

Lincoln Property Co. was founded as a development and property management firm in Dallas in 1965, adding brokerage services in subsequent years. All three divisions operate in multiple U.S. markets. Brokerage firms have moved in the other direction before, as when CBRE acquired developer Trammell Crow, CoStar reports.

Lowe already operated property management subsidiaries, most notably Hospitality At Work, which in 2019 acquired Rise Commercial, also based in Denver, CoStar reports. Rise will be folded into Skye, with two of its brokers coming along. Wynne will also bring C.J. Valencia to Skye with him from their previous posts at Ascendant Realty, as well as Terrence Pace, formerly of JLL.

Among other Lowe subsidiaries are resort and hotel-specific management firm CoralTree Hospitality and affordable housing investment and development firm Concord Communities, according to the press release. In the coming days, Skye expects to announce four more hires from the Boulder, Colorado, area, CoStar reports.