Cresa gets bigger in Texas with acquisition of boutique brokerage

This article originally appeared on CoStar.

Real estate firm Cresa just got a whole lot larger in the state where everything is bigger.

Chicago-based Cresa has acquired esrp, a Frisco, Texas-based boutique brokerage that, like Cresa, only works with occupiers of commercial space. esrp has merged its operations into Cresa, which had a presence in Texas that included 15 agents in Houston, and added 50 brokers to its team in Texas.

Cresa said esrp's existing headquarters at The Star in Frisco would become Cresa's primary office in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. esrp also has offices in the Dallas Arts District and in the Galleria in Houston that have become part of Cresa.

Texas is a critical market for Cresa because it "remains center stage in the country as one of the best-insulated markets" that continues to attract new businesses and residents. The influx of new companies such as Tesla, which last year officially moved its headquarters from Silicon Valley to its factory underway near Austin, leads to demand for office, industrial and other commercial spaces.

esrp CEO Sharon Morrison said she plans to grow Cresa's presence in Texas and beyond.

"We're going to grow Austin. We're going to continue to enhance Dallas," Morrison said in an interview. "We're going to help Houston grow more than what it is today, and Oklahoma at some point in time as well."

Morrison said her company already does some business in Oklahoma, "but we'll open up offices there as the opportunities arise."

In esrp, Cresa has added a group that is consultative and free of conflicts that can emerge when brokerages represent landlords in addition to tenants, Cresa CEO, Tod Lickerman said.

“We have found a like-minded partner who sees this business the same way and aligns perfectly with Cresa’s operating model and company culture," Lickerman said in a statement.

Morrison said esrp was not in a position where it had to find a buyer, but when the opportunity to join Cresa emerged, it felt quickly like a good fit.

"It allowed just a natural transition into not being forced into a big global public company that does everything with hundreds of thousands of employees," she said. "This really gave us a chance to jump in with synergies and to actually, because of our size, to be able to add value immediately, to have a voice that's heard, but also an impact, but also to leverage off their best practices and their new leadership team out of Chicago."

As part of their deal that closed late Monday at Cresa's annual company meeting in Las Vegas, Morrison will join Cresa’s board of directors. esrp’s five other partners, former Cowboys safety Darren Woodson, Karra Guess, Damian Rivera, Jim Hazard and Brad Struck, will become managing principals of Cresa and lead the Texas operations with Morrison.