Affiliation Helps Paramount To Focus On Lakeshore Sites

June 5, 2002
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HOLLAND — An affiliation agreement linking two commercial real estate firms solidifies a business relationship that’s been in place for some time and will enable both to broaden their market reach.

Focus Properties Inc. of Holland and Grubb & Ellis/Paramount in Grand Rapids signed their affiliation agreement two weeks ago. Under the affiliation, Focus Properties has changed its name to Grubb & Ellis/Focus.

The affiliation provides Paramount a larger position in the lucrative Lakeshore and Holland area markets, while Focus gets the benefits of teaming with a larger organization with which it can grow.

“Joining Grubb & Ellis as an affiliate gives us a great opportunity to further expand our business and to provide a higher level of service to our clients,” said Focus President Kris De Pree, who founded the firm in 1987.

Focus and Paramount have had business ties for some time. The two firms routinely referred clients to each other, or retained the other to conduct site searches in their respective markets on behalf of a client, Paramount President and Chief Executive Officer Duke Suwyn said.

Paramount has wanted to do more in the Holland area and Lakeshore markets. Affiliating with Focus Properties made more sense than opening a separate office, Suwyn said.

“We almost felt like we’re part of them already. It just seemed to make sense,” Suwyn said. “It’s kind of the best of both worlds.”

Grubb & Ellis/Paramount has 20 sales associates and about a dozen support staff in Grand Rapids. Focus Properties employs three licensed commercial real estate brokers and a support staff of two at its downtown Holland location.

Paramount’s affiliation with Focus Properties was largely driven by the need to have a larger presence in the Holland area market, Suwyn said.

“We’ve been getting a lot of business out of that market and we need to do a better job handling that business,” he said. “Having our feet and hands in that market in very important to us.”

Paramount structured the affiliation with Focus in the same manner as its partnership with Grubb & Ellis, a global firm that operates 200 offices in 27 countries. Future affiliations that provide the firm stronger positions in the Traverse City and Kalamazoo-Battle Creek markets are likely in the future, Suwyn said.

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