Top GVA Advantis broker leaves to start a new Jones Lang LaSalle brokerage

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Print this page Paula C. Squires

Charles M. “Charlie” Polk III, a star broker for GVA Advantis, has resigned from the Richmond office to head a new local brokerage for Jones Lang LaSalle.

Several other brokers will be joining him, said Polk.  He called it a “gut wrenching” decision to leave Advantis after nearly 20 years.  The departure of Polk — GVA’s company wide, all-time top-producing broker — follows last week’s news that the firm is closing 6 of its brokerage offices because of a drop in transactions.

Also gone is Richmond Managing Director Jamie Thomas, who confirmed that he has joined First Potomac Realty Trust. 

Although the Richmond office was spared from GVA’s list of closures, because of its property management and construction operations, brokers began to feel nervous, especially since the company’s top brokers in Norfolk had already taken flight with competing companies shortly before the news broke.

Jones Lang LaSalle has had a presence in Richmond for six years with property management and development services. However, this will mark the first time the Chicago-based publicly traded company runs a brokerage here. The financial and professional services firm specializes in real estate services, with 750 locations in 60 countries and a portfolio of $1.4 billion square feet. At a time when other real estate firms are struggling, it reported annual revenue of $2.7 billion last year and a market capitalization of more than $1 billion.

Polk, 44, specializes in industrial and office clients.  He has represented such clients as Capital One Financial Services Corp., Charter One Mortgage and Universal Leaf.

In March, GVA Advantis was the third largest commercial real estate company in Virginia, with offices in Norfolk, Richmond, McLean, and Newport News, and a portfolio of 24 million leasable square feet. The company has closed the offices in Newport News, Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.

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