For Senior Associate Alex Smith, a lifelong Clevelander, working in his hometown at Cushman & Wakefield | CRESCO is a dream come true.
“What’s most important to me — and the big reason I got into the industry out of college — was that I really wanted to come back to my hometown and be able to play a role, even a minor one, in changing the landscape and being able to showcase everything that Cleveland has to offer,” he said. “I think there’s a great foundation for growth.”
Alex, along with his partner Ryan Fisher, joined CRESCO in January 2022 for the opportunity to start its retail group. Alex represents retail landlords and retail tenants on the national, regional and local level. This includes helping them lease vacant spaces, sell retail property, and identify new spaces for retail tenants.
“I was born and raised on the east side of Cleveland and grew up in the real estate industry,” he said. “My grandfather was a developer. My dad was an architect. I have an in-depth knowledge of the market of northeast Ohio, as well as central Ohio.”
Professional Background & Involvement
Alex, who has been in the industry for five years, graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in real estate and urban analysis. While in college, he worked for Colliers in Columbus for a year and a half; after graduation, Alex joined Colliers in Cleveland as a retail specialist.
“I have a pretty firm understanding of what makes the deal work — financially, location-wise and negotiating on all the deal points,” he said. “I’ve seen a lot of different negotiation tactics, a lot of deal points that have had to be negotiated. I understand how to work through some more complicated issues when it comes to the leasing of retail space or the sale of retail property.”
He worked in Cleveland with Colliers for roughly three and a half years before making the move to CRESCO. Remaining with a company that has a national platform was important for Alex and Ryan.
“Cushman & Wakefield has a great national retail platform with a lot of resources and a lot of great corporate clients,” Alex said.
He and Ryan also saw the opportunity to fill a void when it came to retail brokerage.
“CRESCO is a market leader in a lot of different property types, industrial and office being two of the main ones, but there’s a lot of business that couldn’t be serviced because they were lacking a true retail team,” Alex said. “Since we’ve joined, I’ve been really pleased by the level of transparency and collaboration. Everybody has been super welcoming and extremely collaborative, which has been refreshing.”
He looks forward to working on exciting projects, as well as the opportunity to expand his network and learn from the many industry veterans at CRESCO.
Outside of his career, Alex is a coach for the young leaders group of the Cleveland chapter of Urban Land Institute, a national networking organization for real estate professionals. He also sits on the associate board of the nonprofit Recovery Resources, which provides resources to those recovering from mental health and substance abuse issues.
To learn more about how CRESCO, Greater Cleveland’s leading commercial real estate company, can help you with your property needs, contact us at 216.520.1200, or fill out the form below. A CRESCO professional will contact you shortly.