Calkain Founder Shutters Firm and Heads to Avison Young

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Jonathan Hipp, CEO and founder of Calkain Companies, will be folding his Reston, Va-based firm into Avison Young as he departs to lead the brokerage’s national net lease efforts. 

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Hipp was hired to serve as a principal in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office. He called the move a “unicorn opportunity” to utilize the Avison Young brand and resources in creating a net leasing division. His first goal is to build the net lease platform so he can start recruiting for the team.

“We’re starting from scratch, so the goal is to build it out enough and create the infrastructure of what we had at Calkain, but hopefully bigger and better because of the resources,” Hipp told Commercial Observer. “The D.C. metro market continues to be, for net-lease, one of the most attractive major metropolitan markets in the world and attracts investors from all over the word.”

Hipp will currently be bringing five members of his Calkain team to Avison Young, and three additional members eventually, though he noted, “some people chose to go in a different direction.” Those joining him include the firm’s head of operations, Traci Bidinger, its marketing team and some key brokers. 

The Calkain brand will eventually merge with Avison Young. “Calkain will stay open for a couple of months as we close out some listings, but we are transferring all our intellectual capital over to Avison Young today,” Hipp said. 

The executive has 25 years of experience in real estate, the past 15 of which were spent honing his net lease skills at Calkain. Overall, he’s overseen more than $12 billion in net lease transactions. 

“Jon’s extensive expertise in net lease complements our broad commercial real estate platform and adds yet another specialty service for our clients,” John F Kevill, Avison Young’s president and principal of capital markets, said in prepared remarks.