Most are former Orion leading producers; big plans for North BayLARKSPUR and SANTA ROSA – Cornish & Carey Commercial, which has 11 offices in the greater Bay Area, is making a big move into North Bay commercial real estate brokerage with two offices and 17 agents, almost all of them formerly affiliated with Orion Partners.

The Santa Clara-based brokerage plans to have a North Bay roster of up to 45 employees eventually, including property managers and representation in Napa County.

Cornish & Carey opened an office with a dozen agents in Larkspur on March 1 and plans to open one in Santa Rosa with about a half-dozen agents this week, according to Chief Executive Officer Chuck Seufferlein.

"We've recognized that the North Bay was a void for Cornish & Carey, and to be the super-regional company we wanted to become, we had to be there," he said. "Things lined up in the last few months."

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Manager of the new offices is Haden Ongaro, named senior vice president. Mr. Ongaro was one of the original agents with Orion Partners and also one of its top producers.

"They have a really strong regional presence, a great brand and unbelievable marketing materials," Mr. Ongaro said.

He started in real estate with Grubb & Ellis in San Rafael in 1986 and left in 1996 with office manager Bill McCubbin to form Orion Partners Ltd. in San Rafael with nine other agents.

Fifteen other Orion agents joined Cornish & Carey from Orion's San Rafael and Santa Rosa offices. In March 2009, Orion was the second-largest such brokerage in the North Bay, with 43 agents and a total roster of 50, according the Business Journal Book of Lists.

Mr. McCubbin, president and chief executive officer of Orion, declined to comment for this story.

Cornish & Carey's Larkspur office will have 12 to 15 agents, and the Santa Rosa office, up to seven. Mr. Ongaro said he is receiving inquiries from agents currently at other firms.

Plans call for the offices to grow to up to 10 or 15 in Santa Rosa and up to 20 in Larkspur, including property managers and support personnel.

Shifting from San Rafael are Mark Carrington, Mac Cranford, Doug Daigle, Brian Eisberg, Mike Lieberman, Meryl Sebestyen, Roger Smith, Jeff Traynor and David Walwyn. Mr. Traynor, a Marin resident, had been working in Santa Rosa.

Mr. Eisberg and Mr. Walwyn left Orion last month and were briefly affiliated with Parkway Properties Investment Corp. in Corte Madera.

Also joining the Larkspur office, located in Marin Country Mart at 2421 Larkspur Landing Circle, is Brian Gleason, formerly senior vice president at UGL Equis in San Francisco.

Joining the Cornish & Carey office in Santa Rosa, to be located in the Waterfall Towers office complex, are Connie Bradley, Barry Palma, Denis Plehn, Ron Reinking, Preston Smith and Kevin Foster. All but Mr. Foster have been in Orion's Santa Rosa office for at least several years.

Cornish & Carey started in Palo Alto in 1935. With the new offices and agents, the firm now has 13 offices in the Bay and Sacramento areas, with 280 agents and a total complement of nearly 400. Several agents from the Walnut Creek office cover the Solano County market.

Recently, the firm inked a joint venture with RiverRock Property Management in Southern California to offer property management in the Bay Area. Cornish & Carey RiverRock Property Management Services handles 4 million square feet currently, and RiverRock has 13 million square feet under management statewide.

In the next two to three months, the firm plans to look for local property managers to base in Larkspur and Santa Rosa, according to Mr. Seufferlein.

The firm also has corporate real estate (C&C Corporate Solutions), asset management (C&C Asset Advisors) and finance (C&C Capital) divisions.

Cornish & Carey is a member of the Oncor International network of brokerages, as is Santa Rosa-based Keegan & Coppin, the largest North Bay brokerage. However, Keegan & Coppin has exclusive rights to leads in Sonoma, Marin and Napa counties generated through Oncor, according to President Al Coppin.

AMPLIFICATION, March 8, 2010: Keegan & Coppin has exclusive rights to leads in Sonoma, Marin and Napa counties generated through Oncor International.