Former MLG principal launches commercial real estate firm

Steve Anderson, a former principal for Brookfield-based NAI MLG Commercial, recently left that company to start his own business, Anderson Commercial Group, a Greenfield-based commercial real estate brokerage and property management firm.

“I’ve been doing (commercial real estate brokerage) for 20 years now,” Anderson said. “I’ve developed a list of clients and relationships that I do repeat business with. It was just time to do my own thing. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time.”

Anderson is part owner of 20 commercial properties with other investors. One of those buildings is at 8575 W. Forest Home Ave., Greenfield, where Anderson Commercial Group’s office is located. Anderson has provided leasing and sales brokerage services for the properties he co-owns and now his firm will provide those and property management services for his and other properties.

Although the overall economy and the commercial real estate market has improved since the end of the Great Recession, the economic recovery remains weak and some are concerned it could dip back into a recession. However, despite the uncertainty with the overall economy Anderson is bullish about the commercial real estate market and said the time was right to start his own firm.

“I’m very confident,” he said. “I think it’s risky for me not to (start his company) at this time.”

As the economy and real estate market gradually improve banks are loosening up, providing more financing for commercial real estate, and many investors that had been sitting on the sidelines are getting back into the commercial real estate market, Anderson said.

“I think the market is picking up drastically,” he said.

Three other former NAI MLG Commercial brokers left the firm to join Anderson’s new venture. Adam Williquette is now vice president of Anderson Commercial Group, Nicole Hohnstein-Allard is now vice president of business development and Jan Kadow is now a broker associate for Anderson Commercial Group. In addition Barry Stokes, a former broker intern at NAI MLG who later worked as an assistant property manager for MLG Management, recently joined Anderson Commercial Group as a sales associate.

Anderson Commercial Group also added Pauline Hurst, formerly with Greendale-based R-Y Properties, as its property manager.

Anderson and the other brokers have significant experience in brokerage for investment properties, so that will be a major focus of Anderson Commercial Group.

“Steve and I worked very closely at MLG,” Williquette said. “We have really good synergies and similar business outlooks. I saw it as an opportunity to venture out and do something bigger.”

Hohnstein-Allard will focus almost exclusively on business development initiatives for Anderson Commercial Group, moving away from her previous work in brokerage.

“I feel this is a natural phase for me with this new venture,” she said.

The Anderson Commercial Group brokers brought an extensive client base to the new firm, which already has 60 to 70 listings and quickly changed signs on many of the properties from NAI MLG to Anderson Commercial. However, “a significant amount of those are new listings,” Williquette said.

The marketplace has had a positive reaction to the new company, Anderson Commercial Group executives say.

“A lot of our clients are people that went out and started their own business,” Williquest said. “They see this as an opportunity to for us to go out and do bigger and better things.”

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