Grubb & Ellis Real Estate Icon Is No More

Grubb & Ellis — the commercial real estate powerhouse known for its iconic yellow-and-black signage — is done.

Financial broker BGC Partners has closed its bankruptcy-court purchase of Santa Ana-based Grubb & Ellis Co.

BGC says it “is rapidly integrating” Grubb & Ellis into its Newmark Knight Frank commercial real estate firm that it bought in October 2011. The result? “Newmark Grubb Knight Frank.”

Michael Lehrman of BGC: “With more than 100 offices in North America, 250 million square feet in Property and Facilities Management, and an outstanding national Appraisal business, the creation of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank is a game-changing moment in the real estate industry.  Newmark Knight Frank and Grubb & Ellis each have consistently ranked among the leading companies in the real estate industry, and now these two great brands have come together as an even more impressive competitive presence in the real estate marketplace.”

Barry Gosin, CEO of the combined Newmark Grubb Knight Frank: “It’s a fresh and comprehensive way of identifying creative, fully integrated solutions to meet clients’ complex real estate objectives by applying BGC’s capital, management, and technology as we enlarge the scale of our real estate services platform and expand into new markets.”

A hefty debt load ravaged Grubb & Ellis’ financial strength. It was an example of how a real estate merger can go really bad. At first, Grubb & Ellis drew big-name suitors to kick the corporate tires. No rescue could be arranged. Eventually, even the New York Stock exchange stepped in, booting the O.C. real estate firm from its market. (credit Jon Lanser)

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