Danny Nikitas appointed Managing Director of Avison Young's Chicago office

Apr 30, 2014, 10:01 ET from Avison Young Commercial Real Estate (BC)

Highly regarded industry veteran becomes Principal, will lead day-to-day operations and help guide U.S. Midwest expansion

TORONTO, APRIL 30, 2014 /CNW/ - Mark E. Rose, Chair and CEO of Avison Young, the world's fastest-growing commercial real estate services firm, announced today the strategic hiring of industry veteran Danny Nikitas as Managing Director of the company's Chicago office.

Effective immediately, Nikitas also joins Avison Young as a Principal. Nikitas brings more than 25 years of commercial real estate industry experience to Avison Young. He was most recently an Executive Vice-President with MB Real Estate in Chicago.

In his new role, Nikitas will manage Avison Young's day-to-day operations in Chicago, service new and existing clients, and play a leading role in further expanding the firm's U.S. Midwest footprint.

"We are thrilled to have Danny join, and lead, our dynamic team in Chicago. We're also delighted to bring such a high-profile member of Chicago's commercial real estate community to our firm," comments Rose. "Danny will oversee our continued growth and development in the region, take the lead on recruiting more great folks into the organization, continue to work with clients to develop solutions to their real estate issues, and partner with all of the other Principals to further build our brand in the Midwest."

Rose continues: "Danny's success and numerous industry relationships in the Chicago market will be critically important as we recruit top-tier talent and enter new Midwest markets that can leverage our existing markets in Canada, the U.S. and overseas. Most importantly, Danny's market knowledge and expertise will ensure that we continue to offer the highest level of service to our clients."

Avison Young opened its first U.S. office in Chicago in January 2009. The company expanded in the Midwest in October 2012 with the opening of a Detroit office, followed by a Columbus, Ohio office in January 2014.

"I have known Danny for many years and have always admired the way he has worked with clients and his colleagues to get things done. Danny is well respected throughout the Chicago area and will really help us continue our growth in the region," states Earl Webb, Avison Young's President, U.S. Operations. "We are very fortunate to have Danny join us, and he will, no doubt, continue the successful growth path established by Avison Young Principal Michael McKiernan, our former Managing Director in Chicago. Danny will also build our capabilities across our full-service matrix and expand our client base as well."

McKiernan, after spending the past five years as Chicago's Managing Director, will take on senior production responsibilities, primarily in the industrial sector, with key national and regional clients of Avison Young.

During his career, Nikitas has completed more than 500 lease transaction spanning more than 4.5 million square feet (msf) of office space in the Chicago metropolitan area. He spent the last seven years at MB Real Estate, where he was also an executive committee member, leading the company's business development program while sourcing third-party management and leasing opportunities, tenant-representation assignments and potential equity investments. Before moving to MB Real Estate, he served as Executive Vice-President of Leasing for Prime Group Realty Trust, where he directed the leasing of approximately 7 msf of office space in downtown Chicago and several suburban markets.

Prior to joining Prime Group, Nikitas was Senior Vice-President of Leasing with Shorenstein Realty Services where he was responsible for the Midwest region and oversaw the leasing of approximately 4 msf of class A office space in Chicago's central business district and other parts of the region. Before that, he served as Director of Leasing for TrizecHahn Office Properties' Chicago portfolio. Nikitas' leasing credits in Chicago include Willis (formerly Sears) Tower, John Hancock Center, Prudential Plaza, Citigroup Center, 500 West Monroe Street, 77 West Wacker Drive, 131 South Dearborn, the 10, 120 and 300 South Riverside Plaza buildings, and Continental Towers in Rolling Meadows. 

Nikitas is Past-President and a board member of the Chicago Office Leasing Brokers Association. He is also very active with several non-profit groups. Nikitas holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature from St. Michael's College in Colchester, VT. Before entering the commercial real estate industry, he played professional basketball in Greece.

"Avison Young has undergone tremendous growth over the past few years in Chicago and across the company, and I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to the firm's growth in the Midwest market while still being able to serve highly valued clients," says Nikitas. "I thoroughly enjoyed and will always cherish my time and the people at MB. I was particularly attracted to Avison Young's unique Principal-led ownership structure, which creates the incentive for internal, cross-company collaboration."

He adds: "It's exciting to know that, as a Principal, I have an ownership stake in the firm and, as Managing Director, I can lead Avison Young down new opportunity paths – while also helping clients grow their businesses. I am also grateful for the opportunity to share my landlord and tenant-representation knowledge and insights with professionals not only in Chicago, but across the company in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K."

Over the past five years, Avison Young has grown from 11 to 57 offices and from 300 to more than 1,500 real estate professionals across Canada, the U.S. and in Europe.

Today's announcement comes on the heels of Avison Young opening a new office in Austin, Texas on April 16, 2014. The firm also launched its European presence by acquiring London, U.K.-based NAI Haywards LLC and opening new offices in London and Thames Valley, U.K. on April 1, 2014.

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 1,500 real estate professionals in 57 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 link to view and download photo of Danny Nikitas

For further information/comment/photos:

  • Sherry Quan, Principal, National Director of Communications & Media Relations, Avison Young: 604.647.5098; 604.726.0959
  • Mark Rose, Chair and CEO, Avison Young:416.673.4028
  • Earl Webb, President, U.S. Operations, Avison Young:312.957.7610
  • Danny Nikitas, Principal and Managing Director, Chicago, Avison Young: 312.940.8794


Avison Young was a winner of Canada's Best Managed Companies program in 2011 and 2012 and requalified in 2013 to maintain its status as a Best Managed company.

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SOURCE Avison Young Commercial Real Estate (BC)