Commercial brokerages in Greater Des Moines shouldn't sweat the arrival of another national player in town, said Heath Bullock, who recently was named head of the Iowa and Greater Des Moines markets for Chicago-based Jones Lang LaSalle.
The company made big news in the metro area in 2011 when it became the real estate manager of choice for Principal Financial Group Inc., including its 2.4 million-square-foot campus in downtown Des Moines, a contract that had long been held by local firm Terrus Real Estate Group.
Jones Lang LaSalle announced Monday that it was expanding operations in Greater Des Moines and Iowa by bringing in Bullock to manage a commercial real estate brokerage.
Bullock said the arrival of a company with a global reach is an testament to the strength of the local economy.
"It's fun to talk about nationally. This is one of the smallest market that Jones Lang LaSalle has flown their flag in," he said. "I think it speaks volumes about the Iowa economy and the opportunities here."
Bullock has spent the last 14 years with CBRE|Hubbell Commercial, and Jones Lang LaSalle will be involved in typical commercial areas, including industrial, retail and office.
The company was involved with the location of former Aviva USA in West Des Moines as well as the construction of a distribution facility and warehouse for The Toro Co. in Ankeny. In addition, the firm has been active in facilities management in several Iowa cities, including Cedar Rapids, Dubuque and Waterloo.
Jones Lang LaSalle is not putting the squeeze on other Greater Des Moines brokerages, Bullock said.
"In our industry, your competitor is also a friend and someone you sit down to have a cup of coffee with," he said. "Every commercial real estate agent I talked to in 2013 was busy and happy with their amount of business."