Three leave Equity Commercial to join SVN-Hintze

Merged firm to open new office downtown

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Mequon-based SVN-Hintze Commercial Real Estate has hired a principal and two brokers from Milwaukee-based Equity Commercial Real Estate LLC.

Thomas Gale, one of two principals at Equity Commercial, was hired by SVN-Hintze along with Thomas Kohl and Anthony Stevens, both of whom were vice presidents at Equity Commercial. All three will be senior brokers at SVN-Hintze.

Equity Commercial will merge with SVN-Hintze and cease to exist, Gale said. Kenneth Petershack, the only other employee, who also was a partner at Equity Commercial, is considering retirement, but may stay on at SVN-Hintze.

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The merged firm, which may also possibly merge with a third firm Gale would not name, will split the distance between its offices, opening a new office downtown. SVN-Hintze has narrowed in on the East Town neighborhood, and Gale said a former law firm space with 12 to 14 existing offices totaling about 2,000 square feet would be ideal. The goal is to move by December.

“We’re looking at two or three locations in the central business district,” he said. “We’ve talked to a couple landlords and we’re not sure.”

Gale has worked in commercial real estate since 1982 and was previously a vice president at Wangard Partners Inc. He holds a bachelor’s in business and economics from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. At SVN-Hintze, he will continue to focus on commercial real estate, office, retail and industrial properties.

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Kohl has more than 20 years of experience in real estate. Before he joined Equity Commercial in 2014, Kohl worked at The Harrigan Co. Inc., which later merged with The Boerke Co. Inc. Kohl will focus on retail, as well as local and national restaurant and tenant representation.

Stevens joined Equity Commercial in 2008, and before that worked at RFP Commercial Inc. and Wangard Partners. He holds a bachelor’s in manufacturing engineering from Bradley University. Stevens will focus on office, industrial and leasing transactions.

SVN-Hintze now has five employees and is actively recruiting additional brokers, said Jay Hintze, managing director of SVN-Hintze and former mayor of Glendale.

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The firm plans to grow to at least 18 brokers in the next 12 to 18 months, Gale said.

“As part of the agreement with SVN, they’re the sixth largest commercial real estate company in the United States, and they felt that Milwaukee has been underserviced and underutilized and they wanted a big expansion and a big presence here,” he said.

Hintze established the Milwaukee franchise of the national brokerage firm in 2012. It has more than 200 locations and more than 1,500 advisors and staff nationwide. The firm was known as  Sperry Van Ness until January, when it changed its name to SVN.

“Their decision to join SVN is a testament to the firm’s unique structure and ability to share resources and investment opportunities across the entire United States,” Hintze said. “Through SVN’s shared revenue system, property buyers and sellers are the real winners, because they now have access to hundreds of advisors and their clients. The SVN real estate advisors share the extraordinary results of this additional exposure and the ability to better serve clients on all sides of the real estate transaction and in a global marketplace.”

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