Exclusive: Farbman Group Expands, New Division Boosts Commercial Leasing Services

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Farbman Group, a full-service real estate company in Southfield that manages more than 25 million square feet of office, retail, multi-family, and industrial space, has entered into a strategic joint venture with Bloomfield Hills-based Forum Group, a leading provider of tenant services, including strategic planning, workplace design, and project management.

The partnership, which led to a new division at the Farbman Group, is called Forum Group Real Estate Advisors, an NAI Farbman Co. Both firms will retain their respective headquarters, with the Forum Group providing its real estate disciplines to NAI Farbman Co.’s global network of real estate professionals, clients, and services.

“Most commercial real estate transactions have a broker on the tenant side and a broker on the landlord side, and while we specialize on the landlord side, the Forum Group has built a strong service culture on the tenant side that fits in nicely with our array of companies,” says Andrew V. Farbman, CEO of the Farbman Group, which has 210 employees.

Founded in 1976, the Farbman Group owns and manages numerous properties, including Bingham Office Center in Bingham Farms, Sheffield Office Park in Troy, Riverside Center and Oakland Commons in Southfield, as well as owning or representing properties in Chicago, Columbus, and other regional and global markets. The new partnership extends the range of services to existing and future clients.

“We solve challenges that are not solely based on the transaction,” says Michael Ziecik, managing member of the Forum Group with Thomas D. Lasky. “We can get involved in terms of client strategy, budgeting, location consulting, and anything else a client may need. We’re really excited to work with the Farbman Group to enhance our services to our combined client base.”

Other members of the Farbman team that worked to orchestrate the partnership included Andrew Gutman, president; Michael Kalil, COO; and Christina DiBartolomeo, vice president of client services.

Lasky says the partnership was initiated a year ago over lunch, which was set up almost accidently when Andy (Gutman’s) name appeared on the screen of his cell phone. “We’ve each admired each other’s practice from afar, and when I saw Andy’s name pop up on my screen, I decided to reach out and see how he was doing,” Lasky says. “That all led to where we are today.”

The Forum Group, formed in 2010, has eight employees, including six brokers. Lasky and Ziecik each have more than 20 years of real estate experience.  

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