Windermere Real Estate acquired 50 percent of West Coast Commercial Realty (WCCR) to further expand its commercial real estate presence in the Pacific Northwest, the company announced today.
West Coast Commercial Realty, founded 30 years ago, specializes exclusively in retail leasing and sales throughout Washington State. The company has almost 3 million square feet of retail space for sale or lease and has completed transactions on nearly 10 million square feet of space since 2004.
“This is a true partnership to develop a line of business that, frankly, is totally unique as far as we all know,” said OB Jacobi, President of Windermere. “You have the largest residential real estate company in the Puget Sound partnering with an established retail commercial firm in one of the top markets in the country and leveraging the two for each other’s benefit. Needless to say, we’re pretty excited about the opportunities this will create for both companies.”
WCCR will continue to operate under its own name for the time being and Jacobi, along with Windermere co-presidents Jill Jacobi Wood and Geoff Wood will co-own the brokerage with WCCR’s existing owners, Carol Pugh and Tiffini Connell.
WCCR’s co-founder Sandy Pody passed away in November 2017 and following his unexpected death, Connel said a number of large commercial firms contacted WCCR about a potential merger or acquisition. Something pushed her to think outside the box, she said.
Connell added that by partnering with Windermere – the second largest regional brand in the country according to the Real Trends 500 – WCCR could leverage Windermere’s client experience, and position themselves for growth into new markets, all while staying true to its business model and the brand it built over the past three decades.
It also helped that prior to joining WCCR, her co-owner, Pugh, was a residential broker for Windermere and over the years, the two brokerages have worked together on commercial transactions.
“I’ve always been impressed by Windermere’s commitment to their clients, their brokers, and their communities,” said Pugh. “These are all values we hold dear at WCCR, just in a different discipline under the real estate umbrella.”
In acquiring a large stake in WCCR, Windermere now has a much stronger presence in the commercial business in Seattle. Previously the mostly residential brokerage had a few brokers in Seattle who specialized in commercial. Outside of Seattle – in areas like Bellingham, Washington – Windermere has an established commercial presence, but it wasn’t until this partnership opportunity arose that it was able to see a way to build its commercial footprint in Seattle.
“One of the things that drew us to WCCR is the fact that they are a commercial firm that focuses on building community by understanding the needs of a particular area, and matching those needs with retailers that bring jobs, services, products, and experiences that form a big part of how people live their lives,” said Jacobi. “It’s very similar to Windermere’s approach to residential real estate and building strong communities through home ownership.”