NEW YORK and TORONTO, Dec. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- RKF, the leading independent real estate firm in the United States specializing in retail leasing, investment sales and consulting services, today announced the formation of its first cross-border office in Toronto, Canada.
The RKF Toronto office will be led by Canadian retail services veteran Steven Alikakos, who will serve as President, Canada and be the firm's Broker of Record once it receives its license. RKF's Canadian expansion comes just weeks after the firm formalized an affiliation with leading U.K. - based retail consulting firm CWM Retail Property Advisors, LLP.
With today's news, RKF now has a presence in eight major markets including Toronto, which is the largest city in Canada and the fourth largest city in North America.
By expanding into Toronto, RKF will be able to provide its U.S., Canadian and international clients, both landlords and tenants, with access to the firm's highly-regarded seamless, fully-integrated services platform for all of their retail real estate requirements regardless of where they are located.
A growing number of major American retailers have launched stores north of the border in recent years, and retail analysts only expect that trend to increase over the next few years as competition in the U.S. retail market continues to intensify. Likewise, the U.S. has seen a wave of expansions from Canadian retailers. With RKF's enhanced ability to deliver its unparalleled services throughout the largest North American metro markets, the firm will play a pivotal role in sustaining and accelerating this cross-border retail migration.
Steven Alikakos boasts more than 22 years of retail leasing expertise working with Canada's largest and most visible retail landlords and tenants in the most significant retail markets in Canada. He most recently served as Senior Vice President and Senior Manager at DTZ Canada (formerly J.J. Barnicke) and led the firm's retail department across Canada. Steven has worked on numerous high-profile redevelopment projects for many prominent owners, including Allied REIT, CD Capital, Westmont Hospitality Group, GWL Realty Advisors, Brookfield Properties and Slate Properties. He also serves an impressive roster of retailers that includes Brooks Brothers, Zwilling J.A. Henckels, Andrews, Maverick, and many other prestigious independents in their expansions into premium outlets, malls and on high streets throughout Canada.
"We are extremely pleased to have launched our first office outside of the U.S. in Canada with Steven Alikakos at the helm," said RKF Chairman & CEO Robert Futterman. "Toronto has increasingly become known as a global hub for retailers and retail real estate investors, and there are few people who know and understand the retail landscape in Canada better than Steven. I have no doubt that he will attract Canada's best and brightest retail services professionals as we continue to expand our business both in Canada and the U.S. during the coming months and years. Our clients also will immediately benefit from this expansion given the wealth of great retail opportunities that exist across Canada."
"I've admired the RKF team's commitment to excellence and their highly-driven culture for many years," said Alikakos. "By launching the RKF brand here in Canada, I'm thrilled to deliver RKF's world-class level of services to an ambitious group of Canadian retailers and landlords. The retail market in Canada has needed a service provider of this caliber for some time, and I'm confident RKF will make a tremendous impact."
Since being founded in New York City by Robert K. Futterman in 1998, RKF has been recognized for both its influence and expertise in transforming urban and key suburban retail markets, as well as providing creative, innovative and strategic real estate solutions. The RKF brand is a ubiquitous presence in most major urban U.S. retail districts where iconic retailers have become essential parts of the commercial streetscape and engines of economic growth for their respective cities.
RKF has additional offices in Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Northern New Jersey, and San Francisco. The firm currently consists of 125 real estate professionals and support staff, and that number will continue to rise as RKF expands its ranks in several key U.S. markets. Most recently, the firm's Northern New Jersey operations moved into a larger office after expanding its local staff by more than 20%, and a similar expansion of both staff and office quarters will occur in RKF's Miami operations early next year.
The firm is positioned to begin servicing clients upon receiving its license from the Real Estate Council of Ontario, which is pending approval.
The leading independent real estate firm in North America specializing in retail leasing, investment sales and consulting services, RKF serves a broad spectrum of domestic and global clients in services ranging from national tenant and owner representation to advisory, consulting and dispositions. With approximately $20 billion in aggregate real estate transactions to its credit, RKF has been responsible for identifying scores of real estate opportunities throughout the United States for leading American and international chains, retailers, developers and institutional clients. RKF is headquartered in New York with offices in Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Northern New Jersey, San Francisco and Toronto. RKF operates in Canada as RKF Group Canada Realty, a retail brokerage. www.rkf.com