Born & Raised
In 1920, Lanard and Axilbund (the historical namesake of Colliers in Philadelphia) took a bold red diamond as emblem for its leasing services to the textile industry in Philadelphia's booming loft district, an image quite befitting the tough sophistication exhibited by its young founders - and the dazzling possibilities before them.
Through the decades we have become ever more brilliant, growing from just a few to a few hundred and from a room on Market Street to the mantle of a top tier global firm.
Today Colliers is the largest independently-owned real estate company in the Philadelphia Tri-State Region, a dynamic multi-faceted organization honed through an enduring commitment to our people, clients and community. Working together to accelerate success, adversities of the past have prepared us for present and reflect into the innovations of tomorrow.
In 1920, two young upstarts ambitiously united to form the partnership of Lanard & Axilbund. Stout and tough Jacob Axilbund (27) and Benjamin Lanard (26), a gentleman known to sport a red carnation in his lapel, began to concentrate their efforts as "leasing specialists" to the loft buildings where Philadelphia's booming needle trade made its home. From a one room office at 11th & Market Streets the two could look out their window and see their market - and real estate leads were best tucked in the inside band of one's hat.
When the Depression hit, and as the years dragged on, business became more and more difficult to obtain. Demand softened and vacancy soared.
Famously, in the mid-1930’s a loan come due at Girard Bank. The two mustered their assets, went to the bank and paid off the loan. Following the payment they went to lunch at the Bellevue. Afterwards Jacob Axilbund took all of his available cash, $1.19, put it in an envelope and placed it in his safe deposit box. (When he passed away the envelope and its contents were still protected there.) Benjamin Lanard went home and gave his remaining cash, $.37, to his new bride and told her, “We don’t owe anybody anything, but that is the sum total of our current spendable income.”
Needless to say things got better after that.
It is like a child growing up. First you walk and then you jog - and then you run. We have become stronger and grown larger, but our people and culture of care and trust for one another has made us who we are.
- Douglas Sayer
CEO & President, Colliers Philadelphia
Today, Colliers in the Philadelphia Tri-State Region is a leading full-service commercial real estate firm, one of the oldest and largest affiliate partners of Colliers.
With 400 offices around the globe and operations in 68 countries, we are part of over 18,000 enterprising people working collaboratively to provide expert advice to maximize the value of property for real estate occupiers, owners and investors.
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A year without precedent
Even having endured market ups and downs and cultural turmoils of a past century, 2020 was one that tested all.
From establishing our first fully virtual workplace to coming together to help healthcare heroes we continue to embrace the enterprising DNA of our firm and strengthen our commitment to do what's right.
We are proud we have maintained our staff and doubled down to grow and serve our clients when they need experienced, trusted advisors most - a new facet to our 100 year old firm.