Drawn by Dealmaking Process, Insignia Broker Off to Fast Start

Staff Reporter

A passion for local real estate has made the difference for Evan Meyer. As newly promoted associate director at the L.A. office of commercial real estate firm Insignia/ESG Inc., the 27-year-old Meyer has ascended into territory usually reserved for brokers with at least twice as much experience.

"There's a saying in real estate brokering that you don't make money until your third or fourth year. He hit several home runs in his first year," said Stan Yoshihara, executive director of Southern California for Insignia/ESG.

In his first full year as a commercial real estate broker, Meyer closed leasing deals totaling 65,000 square feet with an aggregate value of $28 million, earning him recognition as the Business Journal's top rookie broker.

One of his more prominent deals was the sale of the Battaglia building on North Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills to Grosvenor USA Ltd., in a deal worth about $18 million, according to local sources.

Clients cited Meyer's persistence and knowledge of the L.A. market as reasons he's done so well even in a down market.

"We especially appreciated your unbiased counsel concerning the various alternatives we considered," attorneys Michael L. Tuchin and Lee R. Bogdanoff wrote in a thank you letter to Meyer and Insignia/ESG senior managing director Hunt Barnett. They found Klee Tuchin Bogdanoff & Stern LLP an 18,000 square foot sublease at Fox Plaza in Century City a $2.5 million transaction that closed at the end of 2002.

During college at the University of California at Berkeley where he graduated with a degree in economics Meyer spent summer vacations interning with real estate companies. The stints helped him fix his attention on the commercial side of the business.

After a summer with a residential realtor in Beverly Hills, Meyer landed a commercial real estate internship in the L.A. office of CB Richard Ellis Inc. in the summer of 1998.

"I liked how commercial real estate decisions are economically driven. The residential transaction is more of an emotional decision," Meyer said.

After graduation, Meyer joined Insignia/ESG in March 2000 as a research analyst, where he honed his brokering skills.

Meyer was instrumental in landing one of the company's major clients, Clear Channel Entertainment Inc., a live entertainment promoter and subsidiary of Clear Channel Communications Inc.

His initial sales work led to a $2.5 million deal with Clear Channel to lease a 16,000 square foot building in Westwood in 2002.

This deal was followed by a Brentwood lease for Clear Channel's SFX Sports Group, a sports agency whose clients include Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. Clear Channel has recently hired Insignia/ESG to help with the company's consolidation plans in St. Louis, Mo., Meyer said.

Other clients of Meyer's include Jonathan Novak Contemporary Art and Dualstar Entertainment Group, both of which leased offices in Century City, and Titan Corp., a provider of security services to the federal government.

The promotion to associate director is a sign of higher expectations for Meyer. The main role of new brokers at Insignia/ESG, which is in the midst of being acquired by CB, is to aggressively pursue new business relationships and put important opportunities in front of the company's senior brokers.

Rookie of the Year - Player: Evan Meyer, Associate Director, Insignia/ESG Inc.

Background: Los Angeles native; B.S., economics, University of California at Berkeley, 2000; interned at CB Richard Ellis Inc. in the summer of 1998; began as a research analyst at Insignia/ESG Inc. in 2000.

Deals: While a good first-year commercial broker might close 50,000 square feet of leasing business in his first year, Meyer secured 65,000 square feet in deals worth $28 million in his rookie year.

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