Article Reprinted from: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011309090051
Terrus optimistic despite losing Principal contract
The Des Moines firm has managed millions of square feet of real estate for Principal.
by David Elbert
Terrus Real Estate Group’s president said the firm has a bright future despite losing its largest contract: managing Principal Financial Group’s holdings.
Principal will transfer management of 4.3 million square feet of commercial real estate, including everything it owns in the Des Moines area, from Terrus to Jones Lang LaSalle of Chicago at the end of the year.
The change will result in the loss of an undisclosed number of jobs at Des Moines-based Terrus, but it is hoped that most of the people who will be displaced will be picked up by Jones Lang LaSalle, said Terrus president Randy Minear.
“We’re very excited about the future and we’re having a great year over and above” the Principal business, Minear said.
Terrus now has about 130 employees, most of whom work in the metro area, Minear said. He declined to estimate how many workers would be affected by Principal’s new contract with the Chicago company.
The reason for the change, Minear said, is that as Principal expands with more overseas operations, the company said it wanted a manager who could oversee all of its property around the globe.
A news release from Jones Lang LaSalle said the 4.3 million square feet of property that it will begin managing after Jan. 1 includes Principal’s 2.4 million- square-foot corporate campus in Des Moines and all of the insurer’s field offices.
“Principal has more than 150 owned and leased offices, occupied by employees of the company, throughout the United States and in more than 15 countries throughout Asia, Australia, Europe and Latin America,” the news release said.
Jones Lang LaSalle, which is a publicly traded company, manages 1.8 billion square feet of property with clients in 70 countries, with revenues of $2.9 billion last year, the firm said.
Terrus Real Estate was spun off by Principal in 2001 to manage the insurer’s commercial properties, including its corporate campus.
“We’ve enjoyed a successful partnership with Terrus over the last 10 years and we wish them well,” Principal said in a statement.
As part of the restructuring, Terrus’ energy management division has left to become Meidh Corp. The company has three employees — President Kathy Draper, her son, CEO Chris Draper, and Eric Nelson — and has plans to hire. The company specializes in Energy Star labeling and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification for commercial properties.
Chris Draper said Meidh — which is Scottish Gaelic for “balance” — has kept its old contracts from Terrus. The division attained LEED certification for the Meredith headquarters, and said Principal’s 801 Grand is expected to be certified by the end of the year. Nationwide is a client seeking Energy Star compliance.