CBRE Group said it has hired two real estate veterans to enhance its presence in the Midwest. Mary Bresnahan and Melissa Ruther were named as vice presidents in CBRE’s Columbus and Cincinnati offices, respectively.

Home to the corporate headquarters of retail giants such as L Brands Inc., Abercrombie & Fitch Co. and Express, Columbus has always been a style center. The city’s fashion week will take place Oct. 9 to 15. Polaris Fashion Center in Columbus is a popular site for brands such as A&F to launch prototypes. Easton Town Center, an open-air mall about 12 miles outside Columbus, has remained innovative since 1999 when it was envisioned by L Brands chairman and ceo Leslie H. Wexner.

Bresnahan, who worked in CBRE’s Columbus office from 2007 to 2014,  was most recently at JLL. She has more than 16 years of experience in the leasing, development, strategic consulting and tenant representation of retail properties. Bresnahan’s experience includes representing owners and advising several long-term clients on large-formats and mall leasing.

Before joining CBRE, Ruther spent 15 years specializing in leasing and tenant representation at firms such as JLL. With extensive regional market knowledge, Ruther has developed relationships with retailers, developers and the brokerage community, CBRE said.

“The addition of Mary and Melissa to our team will undoubtedly enhance CBRE’s retail service offerings in the Ohio market,” said Michael Copella, managing director for CBRE’s Columbus office. “Their experience and significant existing relationships will benefit our clients immensely.”

The two hires underscore CBRE’s ongoing efforts to increase its retail presence in the Midwest, which included the acquisition in November of Indianapolis-based Sitehawk Retail Real Estate.

“We made a commitment to build our presence in the Midwest and adding Melissa and Mary to the CBRE team is a tremendous milestone in that effort,” said Todd Caruso, senior managing director of CBRE’s retail owner/agency practice in the Americas. “The Ohio region boasts strong fundamentals, with many global headquarters and renowned institutions of higher education. Melissa and Mary have long track records of serving clients in this key region.”