By Craig Patterson
Chicago-based brokerage Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) announced that it has acquired highly-respected Toronto-based Northwest Atlantic. It’s a significant announcement for the Canadian retail industry, as Northwest Atlantic’s representation mandate includes brands such as Apple, TJX (Winners/Marshalls/HomeSense), Cineplex, Indigo, DSW Shoes, Nordstrom and many others.
The acquisition allows JLL to expand its current retail advisory business in Canada significantly, with an aim to provide a range of real estate and leasing services to retailers seeking to enter, expand or operate in Canada. Northwest Atlantic will operate as a boutique practice team, according to JLL.
Canada could see a record-breaking number of international retailers entering Canada this year by opening stores, and plenty of other companies are expanding their footprint in Canada. Northwest Atlantic’s business is broad as it represents leading global, national and local retailers across all categories, and specializes in the leasing of power center, street-front and enclosed mall retail segments. Representatives specialize in supporting retailers with market penetration strategy, demographic analysis, trade area definition and delineation, roll-out strategy, site identification, selection and acquisition, transaction negotiation, corporate approval process support, renewals and dispositions, and relocation analysis.
“Retailers’ needs are changing dramatically as e-commerce impacts everything from site selection to store configuration and supply chain logistics. Our new partnership and combined operations with Northwest Atlantic enhance and broaden the scale and scope of our service offerings for retailers,” said Brett Miller, CEO, Canada, JLL.
Northwest Atlantic is a significant player in the Canadian retail industry, representing more than 65 retailers and having transacted more than 75-million square feet of retail real estate across the country. Founded in 1991, the privately-held Northwest Atlantic is owned by 11 shareholders, including CEO Tim Sanderson, and Principals Lawrence Hildebrand, Chris Wood, Scott Lee and Dianne Lemm.
“We joined JLL because of its Practice Team structure, which allows us to continue operating as a specialized unit and does not change our hands-on approach with our clients,” said Mr. Sanderson, now Executive Vice President, JLL. “We are now able to add resources, technology, a deeper research platform and increased geographic coverage across Canada and globally. We can now give our clients access to a full suite of offerings from JLL that we didn’t have on our own, such as office and industrial services, project management and capital markets expertise through JLL’s National Retail Investment Group.”
As part of the arrangement, 45 Northwest Atlantic employees (including 22 brokers across Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver), will join JLL and integrate with JLL Canada’s existing retail team. As a result, the new Northwest Atlantic executive team will report to and partner closely with Brett Miller, CEO of Canada for JLL and with Naveen Jaggi, President of Retail Advisory Services for JLL Americas.
“We’ve been growing our retail advisory services throughout the United States since 2015, and looking for the right cultural fit to increase our presence in Canada. Northwest Atlantic’s client-centric mentality and unwavering commitment to their clients’ success made them the right group to add to our expanding global retail business,” said Mr. Jaggi. “By joining forces with the Northwest Atlantic team, we’ve now created an opportunity for our clients worldwide to tap into a unified business across the United States and Canada for seamless, platinum advisory services.”
JLL’s business in the United States is massive — it’s the largest third-party retail property manager in the United States and partners with retailers, investors and owner/operators through its team of professionals around the world. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with nearly 300 corporate offices, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of 83,500 as of March 31, 2018 (JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated).