Daily Archives: Dec. 12, 2012

Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group is now NAI Martens; NAI John T. Arnold Associates drops its NAI affiliation

Steve Martens (left) and Tom Johnson of the newly named NAI Martens.

WICHITA — Turns out Steve Martens will have to order new stationery.

“We have left Grubb and Ellis,” says the CEO of what formerly was known as Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group.

The company now is an affiliate of NAI Global and will be known as NAI Martens.

Wichita’s John T. Arnold Associates previously was an NAI affiliate and now is an independent operation.

“We’re just kind of relooking at our … working model,” says John T. Arnold president Marlin Penner. He says he and executive vice president Don Arnold decided to focus on the clients they have and simplify their operation. NAI asked that they retain the affiliation until it could find another one in the market.

“We have a huge respect for Steve and his organization, and we’re just thrilled they’re taking it over,” Penner says. “It was the right thing for everybody involved.”

California-based Grubb & Ellis filed for bankruptcy early this year and eventually sold to BGC Partners.

At the time, Martens told Have You Heard? that there was a chance the firm could remain an affiliate or go another direction.

“We wanted to find the right fit,” he says.

“We looked at virtually every other opportunity that was out there,” says NAI Martens president Tom Johnson. “Anyone that’s not in the market is someone we talked to.”

NAI is a group Martens talked to before deciding to affiliate with Grubb & Ellis in 2000.

“Over the years, they have really grown and matured as a company,” Johnson says.

C-III Capital Partners completed its purchase of NAI Global this summer.

“C-III brings to them the capital they need to grow and really develop that company,” Johnson says.

With more than 5,000 employees in 350 offices, NAI Global is the largest international network of commercial real estate firms. All its affiliates are independently owned and operated, which is key for Martens and Johnson.

If a company has affiliates and corporate offices, the affiliates “sometimes are stepchildren,” Johnson says.

“With NAI, everybody is on the same footing.”

He says the affiliates can share best practices in a noncompetitive way.

“It allows us to up our business from an entrepreneurial standpoint,” Johnson says.

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You don’t say

“I think it is vital for local business to help out their community because there are so many struggling families most of whom are in predicaments at no fault of their own … .”

– An e-mail from John Rhoden of Rhoden Roofing on why he’s looking for a family to donate a new roof to this holiday season

Camera Angles to close this month after almost three decades in business

WICHITA — In 1985, when film still ruled the world of photography, a studio called Camera Angles opened in Wichita to offer portraits.

A lot has changed since then. Too much, in fact, to keep the business open.

“Camera Angles was built in a time when a large studio and a large staff … could be sustained,” says Amiee White, who has worked at the business for almost 17 years and owned it for 10.

“The dynamics of the industry have changed along with the economy, and with that I made the decision to close.”

The last day for portraits is Dec. 29.

White has been leasing almost 5,000 square feet at 2424 N. Woodlawn near Sweet Basil. Her lease is up this month.

“These decisions are never easy,” White says. “I’ve been here all of my adult life, basically.”

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Chris Morgan to move his Farmers Insurance office near Douglas and Grove

WICHITA — The Chris Morgan Agency, a Farmers Insurance Group affiliate, is moving near Douglas and Grove.

Chris Morgan is leasing 1,560 square feet at 2320 E. Douglas. That’s up from the 900 square feet he currently has at 5231 E. Central.

“I quickly transferred over here to take over an agency that was already existing,” Morgan says of his current space.

He says in addition to being larger, his new space will save him about $600 a month.

Brent Madison and Patrick Ritchie of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal.

“Eventually, years down the road, I would like to get my own stand-alone office that I have built and own,” Morgan says.

For now, he likes the proximity he’ll have to East High School, where he’s going to sponsor home games for football, basketball and soccer.

“Now we’ll be located right across the street from them.”