Two real estate firms merge

Two Chicago-area real estate firms with offices on the same block in Evanston have merged.

Chicago Real Estate Daily reports this morning that Prudential Preferred Properties acquired Rubloff Residential on Tuesday.

Prudential Preferred's Evanston office is in the Fountain Square Building downtown, just across the street from the Rubloff office in Sherman Plaza.

The combined brokerage, named Prudential Rubloff Properties, has about 900 sales and staff members.

Executives say there will be little change in staffing, but three or four of the combined firm's 17 offices are likely to close.

An industry source estimated the new firm would be the fifth largest in the Chicago area based on dollar volumne of transactions.

Just last week Wilmette-based real estate firm Koenig & Strey was purchased by part of billionaire Warren Buffett's financial empire.

The sagging real estate market has put pressure on brokerage firms to consolidate as a way to trim costs.