DOWAGIAC — Mno-Bmadsen, the non-gaming investment arm of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, has expanded its portfolio with the acquisition of an Indiana commercial real estate firm.
Mno-Bmadsen CEO Julio Martinez said the deal for a majority stake in Cressy Commercial Real Estate was built on years of collaboration between the two organizations.
“This is a great story for us, because Cressy Commercial was not for sale — this occurred because we found in each other a friendly partner, and because we’ve invested together and gotten to know each other over the past six to seven years,” Martinez told MiBiz. “That’s the reason this transaction occurred. We’ve grown to trust each other, and it led to what we can do on a bigger scale.”
The two companies have partnered on and invested in several projects over the years, including the City Center Lofts project in Benton Harbor and the Elkhart Hotel in Elkhart, Ind., according to a Tribal Business News report.
Founded in 1948, the third-generation, family-owned Cressy Commercial Real Estate is based in Mishawaka, Ind., with additional offices in Indianapolis and South Bend. Cressy Commerical Real Estate’s services include site selection, general contracting, brokerage, development, property management and maintenance.
“We each bring something to the table,” Martinez said. “We bring expansion and they bring expertise. Their employees are critical, and we’ve made that clear.”
Under the deal giving Mno-Bmadsen a 51-percent stake in the company, all 100 of Cressy’s employees and CEO Chris Fielding will stay with the company. Cressy Commercial Real Estate is currently renovating a former police department facility in Mishawaka that will serve as the corporate headquarters for all divisions of the company.
“We are thrilled to deepen our partnership with Mno-Bmadsen,” Chairperson George Cressy, Jr., said in a statement. “We have been partners with Mno for years in various endeavors, and we believe our core values and service-based ideologies are in alignment and will create a very dynamic partnership for generations to come.”
Martinez said little will change operationally following the deal, which should expand opportunities for more projects for Cressy Commercial Real Estate as a tribally owned company.
“This opens up markets in a number of different places where we already are and they are not,” Martinez said. “We have reach across the country, especially with federal projects.”
The deal also strengthens Mno-Bmadsen’s portfolio by adding commercial real estate expertise, Martinez said.
“This keeps a lot of different things in-house and allows us to have more controls on projects, which helps us a lot on the planning side,” Martinez said.
Mno-Bmadsen’s portfolio also includes Bodwé Professional Services Group, a collection of engineering and design firms that rebranded in 2021 from Seven Generations Group and includes Kalamazoo-based Seven Generations Architecture + Engineering, St. Charles, Ill.-based WBK Engineering, and Kalamazoo-based Steelhead Engineering Co.
Mno-Bmadsen’s various subsidiaries and investments have grown to help protect against economic shocks and, as of 2021, generated about $140 million in consolidated revenues, according to Tribal Business News.