Property firm marks significant milestone

Doug Smith

PROPERTY consultancy CBRE is celebrating 50 years since the first Richard Ellis office (as the firm was known) opened in Glasgow in 1965. 

Kicking off the festivities, CBRE hosted a staff reunion for employees old and new in Glasgow this week.  Held in the firm’s most well-known office in Glasgow, Pacific House on Wellington Street, CBRE ‘alumni’ gathered to catch up and reminisce about the property industry in Scotland over the past 50 years. 

With two offices in Glasgow, one in Edinburgh and one Aberdeen, CBRE has total of 270 staff.  When including staff from CBRE’s sister company Norland, the Group employs more than 500 people in Scotland. 

Doug Smith, chairman of CBRE Scotland, said,  “It was fantastic to welcome current CBRE and past Richard Ellis staff to our reunion drinks reception to mark the 50th anniversary of Richard Ellis opening in Glasgow – the first Richard Ellis UK office outside London.  Many of the former Richard Ellis employees continue to do business in the Glasgow and Scottish marketplaces but a significant number are now spread around the globe so it was great so many of them were able to come along. 

“Contrary to the thoughts of some younger current colleagues I was not in the business in 1965 but I have worked in each of the buildings which we have occupied since that first year – Trafalgar House, Pacific House, followed by a return to Trafalgar House in its redeveloped form of One Waterloo Street and most recently up to St Vincent Street.  As well as our own buildings, Richard Ellis and its people have played a major role in projects which have shaped the skyline and the life of the city. 

“In our time early developments such as the Anderston Centre and Charlotte House in Queen Street reflected the latest thinking around urban regeneration and development.  Retail has always featured strongly with the firm playing a significant role in many of Glasgow’s best shopping centres such as the St Enoch Centre, Buchanan Galleries and the out of town destinations such as Silverburn, Mearns Cross and The Fort. 

“Some say the offices and investment teams are the DNA that run through the business, which may be right given there is hardly a street in the city where a CBRE team has not leased, valued, bought or sold a building on behalf of clients.  Our industrial team has also had a big involvement in key projects around the city including the Lyons Estates developments, Helen Street, Scotland Street and St Andrews Trading Estates all in town and, further out, Hillington Park and Eurocentral have seen (CB)RE involvement over many years.

“However, the point of our staff reunion wasn’t to talk about buildings; it was a chance to catch up with former or current colleagues and friends.  It never seems to take long when you get a group of ex-Richard Ellis people together for the stories to flow and the laughter to begin.”

A charity raffle was also held, raising £1100 for the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice’s Brick by Brick appeal. 

CBRE will be holding several events throughout the year to mark the significant milestone.