Avison Young names Beth Phillips as Managing Director of Chicago office

Avison Young names Beth Phillips as Managing Director of Chicago office 15 Oct 2020

Phillips joins as Principal, will leverage the firm’s platform and technology to enhance the firm’s presence throughout Chicagoland

Chicago, IL – Keith Lipton, Avison Young Principal and COO of U.S. Operations, today announced the appointment of Beth Phillips as Avison Young Principal and Managing Director of the firm’s Chicago offices. Phillips brings more than 25 years of expertise, including a unique combination of public REIT and CRETech experience, delivering innovation to the commercial real estate industry through the creation of new technologies and services. She will begin in her role on October 26.

 “Chicago is one of the largest and most dynamic commercial real estate markets in the country and Beth brings a rare mix of knowledge across strategic planning, business development, sales, operations, and financial management to the Avison Young family,” said Lipton. “Under Beth’s leadership, we will build on the strong foundation in Chicago and continue to enhance our presence in the market to deliver shared economic, social and environmental value for our clients.”

Chicagoland is home to major transportation hubs, a strong talent pool, a diversified economy, highly desirable attractions and great natural resources. Avison Young’s Chicago team spans offices downtown and in Rosemont, offering a full suite of commercial real estate insights and services to owner, investor, occupier and developer clients. The Chicago agency leasing and management teams have grown their combined footprint to more than 9.3 million square feet since their inception; the Rosemont office and industrial leasing teams have grown their portfolio to more than 10 million square feet of class A office and premier industrial space; and Chicago’s capital markets team has completed more than $886 million in transactions in the last 5 years.

 “Despite the challenging pandemic we are all navigating, Chicago fundamentals are undeniable and will continue to attract the interest of developers, investors, occupiers and talent,” said Phillips. “Avison Young has built an all-star team of people who are leveraging the firm’s investment in leading technology, resources and innovation to create real and lasting value for clients. When I sat on the client side of the business, it was so important for our partners to proactively serve our needs and put us first - and I see this as an inherent part of the Avison Young DNA.” 

Phillips joins Avison Young from Stay Alfred where she was vice president of real estate. Her previous experience also includes serving as vice president of asset management at Equity Commonwealth and as COO of Leasable, a technology platform built for the commercial real estate industry.

Phillips will succeed Danny Nikitas, Principal, who will move into a new role leading Chicago’s agency leasing practice, recruiting new talent and building Avison Young’s client portfolio in this space. Nikitas has successfully overseen the growth of Avison Young’s Chicago business for the past six-plus years through the addition of top tier clients and talent to the organization; the move to lead Avison Young’s Chicago agency leasing practice returns him to his real estate transaction expertise.  As a well-known member of the Midwest real estate community over the past thirty years, he’s secured more than 500 lease transactions, totaling more than 4.5 million square feet for buildings including Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), John Hancock Center, Prudential Plaza and Citigroup Center.

“I am very excited about Beth joining us as she brings great technology, innovation and entrepreneurial experience, as well as for my own transition which brings me back to my roots,” Nikitas shared. “Avison Young’s evolution and growth means creative and consultative solutions for our clients that provide a powerful combination of long-view strategic smarts and the ability to execute in real time, which is more important now than ever.”

Avison Young creates real economic, social and environmental value as a global real estate advisor, powered by people. As a private company, our clients collaborate with an empowered partner who is invested in their success. Our integrated talent realizes the full potential of real estate by using global intelligence platforms that provide clients with insights and advantage. Together, we can create healthy, productive workplaces for employees, cities that are centers for prosperity for their citizens, and built spaces and places that create a net benefit to the economy, the environment and the community.

Avison Young is a 2020 winner of the Canada's Best Managed Companies Platinum Club designation, having retained its Best Managed designation for nine consecutive years.


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Industrial fundraising hot spots: Where is capital flowing?

Industrial fundraising hot spots: Where is capital flowing? 23 Jul 2021

Industrial fundraising continues expansion into Europe, Asia Pacific

The familiar investment thesis of the recent past has not changed:  investor interest in the industrial asset class continues to be real, salient – and global.  In this edition, we quantify this thesis as we look at a number of examples of capital raises for industrial funds and their substantial buying activity, not just in the U.S., but around the world.  It is our opinion that we will continue to experience sustained global investor interest in U.S. industrial product in the near term, yet, we are always curious as to what you think…do you agree?  Disagree?  As always, we value your engagement, insights, and certainly welcome your feedback to this newsletter.


Erik Foster

Head of Industrial Capital Markets 

Industrial fundraising continues expansion into Europe, Asia Pacific

As capital continues to pour into the industrial sector, many investors have been active in expanding their footprints outside of the U.S., especially in Europe and Asia Pacific markets. Europe has become a hot spot for logistics, given its scarcity of warehouses and availability of land. As e-commerce continues to burgeon globally and manufacturing companies across the world increase production, there is an increasing demand for efficient and well-located logistics facilities.

A look at recent fundraising shows a strong appetite for strong performing assets with ties to logistics, e-commerce and related industrial uses.

EQT Exeter, for example, recently closed a EUR 2.1 billion logistics fund with an equity level that exceeded the fund’s EUR 1.25 billion target by nearly 70%. An EQT Exeter executive told PERE News that demand was so high that the firm was unable to accommodate some of the commitments without putting target returns at risk. The fund has a value-add strategy for acquiring, developing, redeveloping, leasing and operating supply chain and e-commerce related warehouse, last mile and light industrial properties in major European markets.

A few other notable examples in Europe include:

  • NBIM, Norway’s central bank entity that runs its sovereign wealth fund, invested in 11 logistics properties in Berlin and the Rhine-Ruhr area with partner Prologis. The partnership also sold 27 logistics properties in several U.S. markets, including Memphis, Louisville, Seattle, Baltimore/DC and South Florida.
  • Valor Real Estate invested EUR 30 million in urban logistics deals in Paris, acquiring four infill properties in prime submarkets. The properties are located in undersupplied submarkets that are desirable due to their proximity to growing and affluent population bases. One of the properties is vacant and slated for renovation, a sign that the supply/demand equation is pushing investors toward a wider pool of assets.

Investment volumes have also increased in Asia Pacific, according to Institutional Real Estate, Inc. A mid-year 2021 industry report noted overall commercial real estate volume with a 40%  year-over-year growth rate, notably in China, Australia and South Korea.  Logistics and other industrial assets accounted for a notable amount of that volume.

  • This summer Singapore-based CapitaLand launched its second fund, the $300 million India Logistics Fund II, which will invest in six major cities. According to IPE News, through both this fund and its first Ascendas India Trust, CapitaLand plans on developing 20-25 million square feet by 2025.
  • Macquarie Asset Management raised $1.1 billion AUS, according to the Australian Financial Review, for a ‘beds and sheds’ fund – a spectrum of rental housing and logistics property assets.

Overall, there remains significant capital in the market and much of it is being allocated for commercial real estate. According to Preqin, the total volume of U.S. real estate deals (in all sectors) in Q2 2021 was $68.3 billion, more than double the total from a year ago. Preqin also noted a 16% increase in real estate funds in the market in the first half of 2021 and a 15% increase in the amount of capital targeted. As industrial is a highly favored asset class -- and even more so given its performance during the pandemic -- it is among the top targets for this massive amount of capital.

One example is the New York State Common Retirement Fund (NYSCRF), which recently doubled its commitment to the Black Creek Industrial Fund, adding $200 million to the U.S. fund due to the fund’s strong performance. The fund is focused on U.S. core-plus assets and is targeting returns in the 9% to 10.5% range. It’s Q1 2021 net asset value as $1.22 billion.

While demand for industrial assets remains strong in the U.S., there is often a running scarcity of portfolios or prime assets on the market at any given time, making it more difficult for global capital sources to take large positions in the sector. This factor, along with the overall increase in demand for industrial space globally is pushing capital sources to expand into foreign markets, looking for additional opportunities to gain traction in this coveted sector. How much additional opportunity will this present for investors? Will this balance change over the next 12 to 18 months? Stay tuned as Avison Young continues to monitor the flow of capital and its impact on U.S. and foreign markets.

Sources: Bisnow, IPE News, IREI.Com, PERE News

Click to enlarge

Erik Foster, Principal
Head of Industrial Capital Markets
[email protected]

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