David Plake has purchased Garrison Group, the commercial real estate firm founded by Glen Garrison in 1991, but the company’s namesake will continue to be involved in the day-to-day operations.
“Glen and I have been working on a succession plan for five years,” said Plake, who joined the company in 2009 after spending more than two decades as the business administrator for Calvary Church in Springfield. “He started this business 30 years ago, and it’s a big thing for him to know that his business has life to it beyond him. That’s why we’ve been working on a continuity plan.”
Garrison will remain the managing broker of Garrison Group, 739 S. Fifth St. in Springfield. Plake was previously the company’s president and has now assumed the title of CEO as well, in a deal that was finalized the first week of March.
“Glen has not retired, and he’s going to continue to be an integral part of the team,” said Plake, noting that Garrison had one of the highest levels of commercial real estate activity in the Springfield area in 2021.
“Through this pandemic, we’ve probably been busier than we’ve ever been,” said Garrison, who noted he first became a licensed real estate agent in 1969. “We have a local, regional and national network that is in pretty good shape, so quite a few opportunities come to us, and that’s a real blessing.”
Like many businesses, Garrison said the main challenge lately has been staffing, and he would like to be able to hire additional employees. “You almost have to turn down business because you want to treat people right,” he said.
Plake said the business itself has grown “exponentially,” noting that the property management division tripled in volume from 2020 to 2021. “We have a 10-year relationship with St. John’s Hospital, and as of last year we are now handling all the property management for the Illinois division of HSHS. They decided to single-source their property management, and we were happy to be able to meet their needs in a way they were pleased with,” said Plake.
“We’re excited about some future opportunities as we’ve grown and expanded over a larger territory,” he said.