Cornish & Carey acquired by brokerage partner

SAN RAFAEL and SANTA ROSA -- Real Estate brokerage and advisory Cornish & Carey Commercial, which has offices in San Rafael, Santa Rosa and 10 other Bay Area and Sacramento locations, on Tuesday said it is set to be acquired by one of the largest commercial real estate brokerages in the nation.

New York-based Newmark Grubb Knight Frank signed a deal to acquire Santa Clara-based Cornish & Carey Commercial by the middle of this year. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

In August 2010, Cornish & Carey Commercial entered a partnership with what was then called Newmark Knight Frank. BGC Partners (Nasdaq: BGCP) acquired Grubb & Ellis from bankruptcy court in 2012, adding Grubb to the brokerage name. Cornish & Carey would be called Newmark Cornish & Carey under the deal.

[caption id="attachment_70223" align="alignleft" width="200"] Haden Ongaro[/caption]

The name on the door would change, but mostly it would be business as usual, according to Haden Ongaro, who oversees 26 agents in the North Bay offices.

"It raises the commitment level from both sides," he said. "There will be closer collaboration. We’ll have access to capital they've raised to grow."

Cornish & Carey Commercial President and Chief Executive Officer Chuck Seufferlein would become president of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank's Western Region after the acquisition. Scott Carey would remain chairman and general counsel.

[caption id="attachment_86244" align="alignright" width="300"] Chuck Seufferlein and Scott Carey[/caption]

Cornish & Carey opened the North Bay offices in early 2010. That launch was kick-started when 17 agents left Orion Partners, which closed down around that time. Interestingly, Orion Partners started in 1996 when Bill McCubbin, manager of the Grubb & Ellis' San Rafael office, and Mr. Ongaro left with nine other agents.

Now, Cornish & Carey Commercial is the North Bay's second-largest commercial property brokerage, according to the Book of Lists.

Newmark Grubb Knight Frank ( has more than 320 offices worldwide and is part of BGC Partners brokerage house for financial and real estate investments. Founded in 1929, Newmark & Company Real Estate in 2006 partnered with London-based Knight Frank. The venture is one of the largest independent commercial real estate companies. Newmark Grubb Knight Frank offers real estate brokerage; space planning, design and construction management; property and facilities management; investment sales; and financial services.

Cornish & Carey Commercial ( started in 1935 and has 275 agents.

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