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Posted on Thu, Dec 29, 2011 : 5:58 a.m.

Co-owner of Michigan Commercial Realty leaves to form real estate brokerage franchise

By Lizzy Alfs

Dan Stewart, formerly a partner and co-owner of Ann Arbor-based Michigan Commercial Realty, recently left the company to form a franchise of Sperry Van Ness International.

Sperry Van Ness/Stewart Commercial Group will specialize in representing people in the following areas:

  • Owners in the sale of multifamily properties throughout southeast Michigan
  • Investors interested in acquiring multifamily properties throughout the state
  • Owners in the sale and leasing of office, retail and industrial properties
  • Buyers in the acquisition of office, retail and industrial properties

Irvine, Calif.-based Sperry Van Ness has more than 700 advisers in more than 145 markets. The brand was most recently in the local Ann Arbor market under late commercial broker Gary Lillie.

Stewart told he decided to form the franchise because being associated with a large national firm will allow him to compete for “larger and more sophisticated” brokerage assignments.

“The company, having really made a big national push for about a decade, has really created a great toolbox for the advisers they have,” he said. “I think the tools and technology and credibility of Sperry, coupled with my expertise, is a great combination.”

Stewart still owns Torch Capital Partners, which he formed in 2008 to pursue multifamily investment opportunities.

Brian McLaughlin, formerly a sales representative with Michigan Commercial Realty, will serve as an advisor for Sperry Van Ness/Stewart Commercial Group. In 2000, McLaughlin founded Beechwood Building & Design, an Ann Arbor-based custom residential homebuilding firm. He’ll continue to operate this company.

Stewart said he’s in the process of making the transition from Michigan Commercial Realty to Sperry Van Ness/Stewart Commercial Group, and it should be complete in about a month. For now, he’s still operating out of his office at 2141 S. State St.

Bob Andrus, owner of Michigan Commercial Realty, will continue to operate the Ann Arbor commercial real estate brokerage.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at