Chicago-based broker Fulton Grace Realty held a grand opening for its fifth office — and its first suburban location — in downtown Evanston Tuesday afternoon.

“Expanding out of Chicago has been a goal of mine, and Evanston is the place to do it,” T.J. Rubin, the firm’s founder and president, says, “We’re a serious player in Chicago, and we’re going to be a serious player in Evanston.”

Fulton Grace’s sign first went up at the former GNC vitamin store at 812 Davis St. last July, and Rubin said then he hoped to open by mid-September.

“It was very important,” Rubin told Evanston Now’s Jeff Hirsh in July, “to get a space downtown” due to high visibility and ease of access for potential clients.

Fulton Grace (named in part for a Chicago street, and in part for Rubin’s grandmother) has grown into a company with $500 million in annual sales, as well as 5,000 annual rentals and management of nearly 2,000 apartment units.

It has 325 agents working out of four Chicago offices and Rubin said he anticipates having 10 to 15 agents in Evanston.

One of those agents here, John Ruckdaeschel, says, “I feel excited and honored to begin welcoming clients into Fulton Grace’s new Evanston office, in a community I’ve been committed to for over 25 years.”

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.