With a background that includes running CBRE’s DC office, Ernie Jarvis is well aware of the consolidation occurring within the commercial real estate sector and wants no part of it. Jarvis recently announced the launch of Jarvis Commercial Real Estate, a full-service, hyperlocal brokerage that aims to be the opposite of global, publicly-traded real estate firms.

  • The majority of commercial real estate deals in D.C. are under 50,000 square feet.
  • The neighborhoods of NoMa, Southeast Waterfront and Southwest Waterfront are now attracting a host of businesses.
  • More businesses are downsizing, leasing smaller spaces to increase employee collaboration.

With a background that includes running CBRE’s DC office, Ernie Jarvis is well aware of the consolidation occurring within the commercial real estate sector and wants no part of it.

Jarvis recently announced the launch of Jarvis Commercial Real Estate, a full-service, hyperlocal brokerage that aims to be the opposite of global, publicly-traded real estate firms.

“A company of 100 brokers doesn’t feel personal anymore,” the fifth generation Washingtonian said. “When you grow to that size you dilute the value proposition, then you become a semi-giant. A lot of talented people don’t want to work in a global company.”

Jarvis doesn’t foresee his new firm growing beyond ten brokers and brokerage support staff, and anticipates serving a number of DC-based businesses and companies that prefer to work with a local firm.

“My premise is, if you’re moving to NoMa for 10,000 square feet do you really need a global firm that can do a deal in Singapore,” he questioned, adding most commercial real estate transactions in DC involve spaces of less than 50,000 square feet and local businesses. “The proposition that bigger firms are better simply isn’t true.”

DC commercial real estate trends

Jarvis is noticing several trends in the Washington, D.C. commercial marketplace, more companies leasing smaller spaces and companies setting up shop in neighborhoods that were undesirable ten years ago.

For his new office, Jarvis anticipates leasing a smaller space in a move to create a more collegial environment that encourages collaboration.

Following a billion dollars of commercial development by institutional groups, the neighborhoods of NoMa, Southeast Waterfront and Southwest Waterfront are attracting a host of businesses.

Creating hyperlocal brokerages in DC isn’t exclusive to the commercial sector. Recently Hans and Steve Wydler formed an independent residential brokerage, Wydler Brothers Real Estate. The brothers were previously with Mid-Atlantic-focused Long & Foster, which is said to have more than 200 sales offices and 11,000 sales associates.

Email Erik Pisor

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