It was back in August of 2008 when legacy firms Colliers Turley Martin Tucker, Cassidy & Pinkard Colliers, Colliers Pinkard, and Colliers ABR merged, creating a commercial-real estate conglomerate drawing from the best of each firm. Five months later, BT Commercial in Northern California, BRE Commercial of Southern California and Arizona, and Colliers Houston & Co. of New Jersey came aboard, and the firm Cassidy Turley officially opened for business March 1, 2010.
“As a company, [Cassidy Turley] is deeply rooted in the local markets and in many cases [goes] back 80-plus years, but Cassidy Turley as an entity has only existed for about 20 months, and that’s been the culmination of all of these other firms coming together,” says Tim Walsh, managing principal of the firm’s St. Louis office since 2009. “Since March 2010, the growth has really exploded, and that has been through acquisitions as well as organic [progress].”
Quantifying a Philosophy
In sum, the company manages more than 490 million square feet of space from 70 offices. It is in 21 national markets and completed more than $17 billion in transactions last year. A huge portion of Cassidy Turley’s business concerns sustainability, and the company has begun pursuing LEED certification on all its corporate office spaces. Completed so far are the ones in San Jose; San Francisco; Washington, DC; and, most recently, St. Louis, which earned LEED Gold certification. The Charlotte office is pending.
“Philosophically, we were committed to pursue some level of LEED certification from the very beginning,” Walsh says. “We wanted to lead by example, and sustainability was an important component of that. Pursuing LEED was our demonstration to do what’s in the best interest of our clients, our associates, our community, and the environment as a whole.”
A 21st-Century Palace of Gold
Located in the HOK-designed Centene Plaza Office Tower, Cassidy Turley’s full-floor headquarters houses 100 associates in 27,000 square feet of office space. Cassidy Turley currently employs more than 70 LEED APs and wants to see that number grow. The interior of the office achieved LEED-CI Gold by incorporating a variety of sustainable strategies that, by design, positively impact the project itself and the broader community.
More than 75 percent of the construction waste was salvaged or recycled, and more than 25 percent of the project’s glass, wall base, floor laminate, and tile incorporates recycled content and was manufactured within 500 miles of the building. The offices also were finished with low-VOC adhesives, sealants, flooring systems, composite woods, and agrifiber. Finally, potable water use was reduced by 20 percent compared with the LEED baseline, and the company continues to offset 100 percent of its electricity use by purchasing renewable energy credits.
Evan Tyroler, a Cassidy Turley vice president and director of sustainable initiatives out of Washington, DC, adds that by taking these measures in a highly visible St. Louis office building, the renovation becomes a reminder to clients and tenants that Cassidy Turley supports the green movement. “It’s also an educational piece,” Tyroler says. “[It’s] important for our St. Louis team and all the different clients and … team members that visit that office to learn about the process we went through and how they can bring that as a value-add component to the table when they are working with clients in other markets.”
Cassidy Turley also maximized natural lighting and outdoor views through strategic space planning and the incorporation of large expanses of glass in interior offices. Trusted vendors FastSigns National Advertising Counsel Inc. and NCS Construction Services are often tapped for Cassidy Turley’s big projects, and the St. Louis headquarters was no exception. “From the initial design phase, the sourcing of the materials was important,” Tyroler says, “so through our partnerships with these firms, we could explain what we were looking for, and they were able to use their knowledge and experience to identify the materials and space for the build out. Everyone had the ultimate goal of the sustainability message we wanted to get across.”
The company’s growth stems from a philosophy centered on unwavering commitment to clients, allowing for more acquisitions. “We wanted to make sure we are in the markets that our clients need us to be in, and that has led to many of these acquisitions,” Walsh says. “There’s also been a philosophy of being a market leader. Here in St. Louis, we are proud that we are ranked No. 1 in both brokerage and property management, and [we] strive for those leadership positions in each of our markets.”
A lot is on the horizon for the remainder of 2012 as the commercial-real estate market continues to pick up. “We are optimistic,” Walsh says. “Over the next five years we remain committed to growing the business in all of the different service lines. As those grow, the firm will continue to grow. We would certainly be forecasting growth in each of the next five years.”