Brokerage breaking into new territory

Barry Dorfman

Barry Dorfman

A commercial real estate giant is shopping for Denver retail brokers.

JLL is expanding into the retail real estate business. The company poached former CBRE broker Matt Writt to help launch a retail team earlier this year, and JLL Denver head Barry Dorfman said the firm is in “deep talks with some well-known brokers” around town.

“Even though we’re big-time into malls, and we’ve had a major presence there for many years, we’re now very focused on local retail brokerage,” Dorfman said. “It ties in very much with the business we’re already doing. Many of our office clients have distribution or retail needs, and all retail clients have office space somewhere and distribution and logistics needs.”

Dorfman said he expects to hire three new retail brokers in the next two months. He plans to grow JLL’s new retail team to five or six total brokers by the end of the year, he said. The firm’s retail offerings will include leasing and sales, landlord and tenant representation and development services.

Writt joined JLL at the end of February after an eight-year stint at Denver’s CBRE office. He said JLL is targeting clients with national and global footprints that need a wide array of real estate services.

“We currently work with premier institutional clients, both on the landlord and tenant side, and that’s the business we’re really trying to drive,” he said.

Dorfman said Writt was well-positioned to go after those big-ticket clients in the Denver retail market.

JLL employs about 60 brokers locally between its capital markets, office, industrial and retail teams.

The move into Denver retail comes as Houston-based JLL launches a major nationwide retail push. Naveen Jaggi, president of JLL Americas Retail Brokerage, said the company wants to be a top-three retail brokerage in all of the 14 biggest U.S. markets by the end of 2017.

Currently, JLL has about 3,400 retail specialists globally and handles leasing on about 167 million square feet.

“Denver is an important gateway in that when you go west from Chicago, Denver is the biggest market until you get into California,” Jaggi said. “If you’re going to build a proper retail practice for any company, Denver is an important artery between the Midwest and the West Coast.”

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