Meet the founders
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 Philadelphias 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 toptier global firm.
Today we are the largest independently owned real estate firm in Philadelphia, 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
a Century of Change
Our History is Only Our Beginning
Serving a Booming Textile Trade
As a hard-hit city emerges from the grip of Spanish Flu, Lanard and Axilbund is founded by Benjamin Lanard and Jacob Axilbund to serve the city’s booming industrial market.
Philadelphia’s City Hall is completed, making it the largest municipal building in the country. Boundaries expand with the development of Penn Center Station, the Broad Street subway and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. Philadelphia leads all US cities in the manufacturing of various textiles, with nearly 300,000 employed by manufacturing plants.
Depression, War Manufacturing Might
Philadelphia launched a campaign to promote expansion, issuing a pamphlet titled "Philadelphia, Historic in the Past, Inviting in the Present, Superb in the Future."
At least one major warship is delivered to the US Navy’s area shipyards, and the city’s manufacturing volumes increase significantly each year. The regional market was revived by wartime manufacturing, and Lanard & Axilbund experienced great transitions as well.
Outside the city, the PA Turnpike opens from Harrisburg to Pittsburg.
Go-to "Leasing Specialists"
With a population of over two million people, Philadelphia is ranked the third largest American city in 1950. In a wave of urban renewal, Penn Center is the first of many new commercial and office complexes, and the Schuylkill Expressway is completed.
Both Benjamin Lanard and Jacob Axilbund passed away, passing the firm's legacy to a new generation of lead-ers. The foundation they had built proved to be steadfast, guiding the firm to new heights in the 1950s and 1960s.
Lanard & Axilbund becomes the go-to source for industrial space; at one point, managing over six million square feet within the city’s downtown and uptown areas.
The New Industrial Landscape
With the development of suburban living, businesses begin migrating to the innovative new industrial parks in the suburbs. Much of Philadelphia's manufacturing is shifted overseas, leaving countless towering buildings vacant.
Lanard & Axilbund becomes a key player in relocating tenants into redeveloped downtown spaces. The firm is also enlisted to assist in the condemnation of properties fro the construction of I-95.
The Gallery at Market East opens.
1970 - 1979
Stepping into New Territory
Market East Station opens, making city commutes much more convenient. Construction of I-95 is also completed. One Liberty Place breaks the 100 year-old height limit set by the William Penn statue.
As corporate and retail businesses inhabit the redeveloped buildings, Lanard & Axilbund begins developing its retail and office divisions.
Though city population continued to decline, Philadelphia persisted in its urban renewal, and Lanard & Axilbund continued to adapt to new challenges.
A Significant Alliance - and Brand
The Philadelphia Convention Center and the First Union Center (now Wells Fargo) open, and the Blue Route is completed.
Lanard & Axilbund expands within its market opening satellite offices in Allentown and Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, Cherry Hill, New Jersey and Wilmington, Delaware.
In 1994, Lanard & Axilbund begins an affiliation with Colliers International, joining forces with nearly 250 equally powerful firms across the globe. The firm now becomes known as Colliers Lanard & Axilbund.
1990 - 1999
The New Millennium and Rapid Growth
At the turn of a new millennum Colliers Lanard & Axilbund continues expanding into a full service commercial real estate firm, adding employees and service lines such as investment brokerage, property management, corporate services, financing and capital markets, appraisal and consulting services and fully staffing departments for market research, legal, finance, GIS technology and marketing.
What was once a small urban territory now extended throughout all of Southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. In 2000 the firm also purchased the Colliers South Florida operations.
Aligning to Meet the Demands of a Modern World
Philadelphia emerges as a world class city on a national stage - a shopping and foodie destination and host to major events like the Papal Visit and NFL draft and recipient of the world's first "Heritage City" designation.
Colliers International unites under one global brand and significantly invests in enterprise tools and technology to enhance client service and collaboration around the globe. Our teams have been evolving at a fast clip ever since, sharing ideas, sourcing best practices and integrating with highly specialized experts across the organization to better meet the increasingly complex challenges of clients in the Greater Philadelphia region with the strength of a global firm - and a deep well of hometown accountability, history and pride.
Today - and Beyond
Though the market looks quite different than it did in 1920, the principles of Lanard & Axilbund are very much the same. Like the city in which it began, Colliers in Philadelphia is a steadfast symbol of prosperity, endurance and exciting potential.