Real estate services firm Grubb & Ellis Company (GBE) has formed a new unit to focus on the data center sector, and has hired industry veteran Jim Kerrigan to direct the effort, the company said today. Kerrigan, formerly a principal at Staubach Company, joins Grubb & Ellis as Senior Vice President and Director of its National Data Center Practice.
Joining Kerrigan at Grubb & Ellis is David Horowitz, who joins as an Associate Vice President. Both will be based in the company’s downtown Chicago office.
“Our corporate clients have very specific real estate needs related to data centers, and these needs are rapidly becoming more complex as technology progresses,” said Jack Van Berkel, Chief Operating Officer and President, Transaction Services. “Jim’s status as the leading data center expert in the real estate services industry makes him a valuable addition to our team, and reinforces our unwavering commitment to providing our clients with unmatched service and expertise.”
Kerrigan and Horowitz recently represented DuPont Fabros (DFT) in its purchase of a 500,000-square-foot building in Elk Grove, Illinois. They also represented Equinix (EQIX) in its acquisition of more than 350,000 square feet of data center and Savvis (SVVS), Inc. in its renewal of 163,000 square feet.
“Grubb & Ellis offers one of the best platforms in the industry from which to serve my clients as well as the opportunity to use my experience to expand my business and form a new national specialty practice,” Kerrigan said.
One area of focus for Kerrigan will be helping tenants sort out pricing and cost issues as leases expire. The next three years will see a wave of data center lease expirations, he said, as 10-year deals signed during the dot-com boom will expire. Blade servers, high-density computing and the cost of power have transformed the economics of building and operating data centers during that period.
Kerrigan began his real estate career in 1991 with Studley. He joined The Galbreath Co. in 2003 before moving to Tanguay-Burke-Stratton, a boutique tenant representation firm which was acquired by Staubach, which in turn was acquired this year by Jones Lang LaSalle. He received the Staubach Top Achiever award in seven of the last eight years as well as the Company’s Top Gun award in 2006 and 2007 for completing more than 1.5 million square feet of leasing transactions.