Avison Young acquires Lane Witherspoon & Carswell Commercial Real Estate Advisors, opens new office in Tampa, Florida

Sep 03, 2013, 11:00 ET from Avison Young Commercial Real Estate (BC)

Purchase further galvanizes Avison Young's footprint in Florida; 19 members join

TORONTO, Sept. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - Mark E. Rose, Chair and CEO of Avison Young, the world's fastest-growing commercial real estate services firm, announced today that it has acquired Tampa, FL-based Lane Witherspoon & Carswell Commercial Real Estate Advisors and its sister company L&W Commercial Property Management, and opened a new office in Tampa, Florida.

Lane Witherspoon & Carswell Commercial Real Estate Advisors and L&W Commercial Property Management, founded by Ken Lane, Clay Witherspoon, Trey Carswell and Suzi Dixon in 2007, is one of the leading commercial real estate service providers in the Central and West Coast regions of Florida. Services provided include office, industrial and retail leasing for landlord and tenant representation, seller and buyer representation for building sales, and full property management and property management accounting services.

The newest American office represents Avison Young's 36th office outside of Canada, the company's fifth office in Florida, and an additional step in the firm's ongoing aggressive growth and expansion strategy.

Over the past four years, Avison Young has grown from 11 to, now, 51 offices in 40 markets and from 300 to more than 1,300 real estate professionals across Canada and the U.S.

The acquisition expands Avison Young's market coverage beyond South Florida to include Central and West Florida, and adds a sizable portfolio including 6.3 million square feet (msf) of agency listings and more than 2.3 msf of property management assignments.

Effective immediately, 19 members join Avison Young, three of whom become Principals of Avison Young: Lane, Witherspoon and Carswell. Lane and Witherspoon also become Co-Managing Directors and will oversee the growth and development of the company's presence in Tampa as well as manage the day-to-day operations of the office.

"In less than 11 months, we are launching our fifth Avison Young office in the Florida region," comments Rose. "Our strategic plan for system-wide expansion through the assemblage of a hand-selected team of the area's leading and like-minded industry professionals, such as the members from Lane Witherspoon & Carswell Commercial Real Estate Advisors, will enhance our platform and provide our clients with the resources and market knowledge to make informed decisions regarding their real estate needs."

Rose continues: "Along with South Florida and Orlando, the Tampa Bay area represents one of the three major markets in the state, and a gateway to make inroads into the Central Florida/Orlando market. Tampa's significant population base, the third largest in the state, and mass appeal to both ownership and tenants make Tampa a natural hub for Avison Young to have a home base from which to serve our growing client base."

Also joining Avison Young from Lane Witherspoon & Carswell and L&W Commercial Property Management are: Dixon (Director of Property Management-Tampa), Cindy Baxter (Marketing Coordinator), Andrew Boczer (Building Engineer), Lauren Coup (Vice-President), Timothy Hain (Vice-President), Clifford Lombardo (Lead Engineer), Leonard Maldonado (Building Engineer), Kimberly Mastin (Assistant Property Manager), Shannon Pitts (Assistant Property Manager), Dimas Pulgar (Building Engineer), Paul Royak (Senior Associate), Frank Shelton (Chief Engineer), L.B. Sierra, Jr. (Associate), Lauren Smith (Assistant Property Manager), Sara Sneen (Senior Property Manager) and Pedro Sojo (Building Engineer).

"The opening of the Tampa office further accentuates our company's mission to expand services in key geographic locations, and this acquisition ensures a holistic presence throughout the state of Florida," states Earl Webb, Avison Young's President, U.S. Operations. "We believe our industrial and office capabilities and assignments in the area, under the stewardship of the Lane Witherspoon & Carswell team, will grow exponentially and that our clients will be expertly guided."

Avison Young opened its first South Florida offices in October 2012 in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and Miami, with 30 members, including Pike Rowley who became a Principal and Managing Director of Avison Young's Florida region. In May 2013, industry leader Dan Carlo was named Managing Director of the Miami office. In June 2013, Avison Young acquired WG Compass Realty Companies, adding 24 members and establishing a West Palm Beach office led by Managing Director Jonathan Satter. Avison Young's Florida operations are headquartered in Fort Lauderdale.

"The Tampa market is benefiting from an improving housing market, resulting in an uptick in employment led by the construction industry," notes Rowley. "The timing for the Lane Witherspoon & Carswell team to join Avison Young is ideal - with the overall market outperforming first-quarter numbers and continuing to trend in a positive direction from one year ago. Beyond strengthening in market conditions, the match between the Lane Witherspoon & Carswell team and Avison Young was a natural fit. Our new endeavor in Tampa will reflect the same level of service with strong integrity and insistence on putting our clients first."

Effective immediately, Avison Young's new Tampa office is located at 1715 North Westshore Center, Suite 130, Tampa, Florida. The Westshore submarket is in proximity to Tampa International Airport, International Plaza and Westshore Plaza Mall.

"We were not actively seeking, nor had strong intentions of an acquisition," says Lane. "However, after meeting the leaders and ownership of Avison Young, it became acutely apparent that this unique platform affords our team the freedom to remain entrepreneurs, place clients first, and remain principal owners in a fast-growth company. In short, there is no commercial real estate services company of this size that is designed by brokers and run by brokers. This is a very exciting opportunity for our entire organization."

The Tampa metro area is one of the top 20 commercial real estate markets in the country, and the population center of the eight-county region with more than 4.2 million residents. Home to 19 corporate headquarters with $1 billion-plus in annual revenue, eight of which are Fortune 1000 companies, Tampa is also the location of choice for nearly 500 foreign-owned companies representing more than 40 nations.

Today's announcement comes on the heels of Avison Young opening its 50th office two weeks ago, on Long Island, New York.



Kenneth E. Lane III
With more than 15 years of experience in the Tampa Bay commercial real estate industry, Kenneth Lane specializes in landlord and tenant representation. Prior to joining Avison Young, Lane was a founding member and served as the Broker of Record and as a Managing Director for Lane Witherspoon & Carswell Commercial Real Estate Advisors. He was also a founding member and Principal of L&W Commercial Property Management. Earlier in his career, Lane was Vice-President of office leasing for Trammell Crow Company.

Lane has worked with a variety of institutional owners during his career, including AEW Capital, TA Associates Realty, Great Point Investors, Principal Financial Group, Archon Group, LaSalle Investment Management and several other local investment groups. He has represented such notable clients as: Team Health, CVS, Brookdale Senior Living, Fortress Investments, Checkers Drive-in Restaurants, ESolultions Corporation, JW Cole Financial, Global Data Management and many other local and regional firms.

Clay Witherspoon
Clay Witherspoon brings to Avison Young 18 years of expertise in landlord representation for industrial and office buildings in the Tampa Bay market, including leasing, acquisitions and dispositions, and the underwriting and marketing of more than 1.4 msf of new development projects. Prior to joining Avison Young, Witherspoon was a Managing Director for Lane Witherspoon & Carswell Commercial Real Estate Advisors, and a Principal of L&W Commercial Property Management. Earlier in his career, Witherspoon was Vice-President in the Tampa office of Trammell Crow Company.

Throughout his career, Witherspoon has served as the exclusive agent for such institutional owners as AMB Property Corporation, Archon Group, Clarion Partners, Great Point Investors, LaSalle Investment Management, Lend Lease, Meridian Development Group, Morgan Stanley, Principal Financial Group, RREEF, TA Associates Realty and Trammell Crow Company, as well as several other private developers and investors. Witherspoon is the recipient of the Archon Achievement Award (1998), the CoStar Power Broker Award (2003 to 2010 and 2012) and the Tampa Bay Business Journal's Largest Lease Transactions Top 10 on multiple occasions.

Trey Carswell
Specializing in industrial and office properties representing institutional landlords, tenants, buyers and sellers, Trey Carswell has worked with clients such as Clarion Partners, EastGroup Properties, Walton Street Capital, UBS, Meridian Development Group, Cabot Properties, Nestlé Waters and World Electric Supply. Prior to joining Avison Young, Carswell was a founding member and Director of Lane Witherspoon and Carswell Commercial Real Estate Advisors. Prior to this, he specialized in industrial and office brokerage with Trammell Crow Company, and earlier in his career served as Associate Director of industrial services for GVA Advantis.

Recognized by the industry over the past decade as a leading broker, Carswell has received several CoStar Power Broker awards, multiple Pinnacle awards, GVA Advantis' Industrial Broker of the Year award, and consistently ranks in the Tampa Bay Business Journal's Top 10 Broker for Largest Lease Transaction listings.

Suzi Dixon
With more than 30 years of industry experience, Suzi Dixon is a well-established and respected member of the Tampa Bay commercial real estate community and currently oversees 2.3 msf of office, retail and industrial properties. Prior to joining Avison Young, Dixon was a founding partner and Director of Property Management for L&W Commercial Property Management. Earlier in her career, Dixon worked as property manager for both office and industrial buildings at Trammell Crow Company.

During her career, she has managed such notable properties as Rocky Point Centre, Westshore Center, Sunforest I & II, Hampton Oaks, Benjamin Center, Northport Industrial Park, President's Plaza II and Corporex Plaza. She has received two Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) TOBY awards for Sunforest I & II and Westshore Center. In addition, Dixon's activities in the local commercial real estate community include membership in the Westshore Alliance. She is a former BOMA board member and a Certified Property Manager (CPM) candidate.

Avison Young is the world's fastest-growing commercial real estate services firm. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Avison Young is a collaborative, global firm owned and operated by its principals. Founded in 1978, the company comprises 1,300 real estate professionals in 51 offices, providing value-added, client-centric investment sales, leasing, advisory, management, financing and mortgage placement services to owners and occupiers of office, retail, industrial and multi-family properties.

• Please click on links to view and download photos of Ken Lane, Clay Witherspoon, Trey Carswell, Suzi Dixon 

For further information/comment/photos:

Sherry Quan, National Director of Communications & Media Relations, Avison Young: 604.647-5098; mobile: 604.726-0959

Mark Rose, Chair and CEO, Avison Young: 416.673.4028

Earl Webb, President, U.S. Operations, Avison Young: 312.957.7610

Pike Rowley, Principal & Managing Director, Florida, Avison Young: 954.938-1807

Ken Lane, Principal & Managing Director, Tampa, Florida, Avison Young: 813.288.1800 x 223 

Avison Young's new Tampa, Florida office is located at: 1715 North Westshore Center, Suite 130, Tampa Florida, 33607, 813.288.1800


Avison Young was a winner of Canada's Best Managed Companies program in 2011 and requalified in 2012 to maintain its status as a Best Managed company.

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