Bishop Hawk, a commercial real estate brokerage headquartered in Sacramento, said Wednesday that it has bought AIP Commercial Brokerage here. The price was not disclosed.
Bishop Hawk will move its Orange County office from Irvine into AIP’s Newport Beach office. AIP has 17 brokers in Newport Beach and five in a Rancho Cucamonga office in Riverside County.
Bishop Hawk has 19 brokers in its Irvine office. Chairman N. Bruce Ashwill said the company bought AIP because it wanted to expand in Orange and Riverside counties.
The acquisition allows both companies to trim costs, since all their Orange County brokers will now be in one office under one management, said Donald W. Gilmour, AIP chairman. AIP, for instance, is not even filling up its Bristol Street offices.
With the brokerage business slowing, many concerns are scrambling to cut costs in a business where profit margins are thin even in good times.
Neither Bishop Hawk nor AIP had been able to grab a big chunk of the Orange County market, other brokers said. AIP has been successful putting together deals involving industrial parks in Riverside County, and many of its more experienced brokers are in that office.
But as the real estate market has slowed, few developers need or can afford to build new projects. Consequently, AIP’s business dropped sharply last year.
Bishop Hawk has a background in leasing office and retail buildings. Those businesses are also slow and Bishop Hawk says its local revenue is down, but it has apparently not been hit as hard as AIP. While their numbers have been decreasing, tenants are still seeking office and store space.
Until recently, AIP’s Orange County office had twice as much revenue as Bishop Hawk’s, said Gilmour, who declined to state precise figures.
Like other brokerages, both concerns have been losing brokers as business gets tougher. AIP says it has lost half a dozen to attrition in the past three years.
AIP is a 13-year-old brokerage started by Gilmour, who eventually expanded into building industrial buildings with Erin Madison Ltd. in Newport Beach, of which he is president. Gilmour retains a piece of the ownership in AIP, but he will have no title with Bishop Hawk.
Ashwill, who once worked as a broker with Gilmour, started Bishop Hawk in 1980 in Santa Clara. The company has since expanded to Sacramento and, in 1983, to Orange County.
The managers of both Orange County offices will step down in favor of a new manager, Gilbert Parsley, a former Orange County broker and now a marketing manager at Dallas’ Southmark Corp., which has filed for bankruptcy.