The New York Stock Exchange has announced that it will suspend Grubb & Ellis Co. from trading on the exchange as of Oct. 17. The company currently trades under the stock symbol GBE.

According to a release issued by the NYSE, the de-listing will occur because the New York-based real estate services firm does not meet the NYSE’s listing criteria of a $50 million average market capitalization and a $50 million in stockholders’ equity and does not expect to be able to comply going forward.

Grubb & Ellis’ current market cap is $18 million — down from $33 million two weeks ago. Its stock opened at $1.30 today, up from its 52-week low of $1.20 on Sept. 6, but down from its 52-week high of $4.50.

The company had been operating under a plan that was designed to meet the criteria, but was unable to do so, according to the NYSE.

The de-listing makes going private an attractive option for the beleagured firm, and Grubb & Ellis CEO Barry Barovick previously told National Real Estate Investor that the firm is considering alternative ownership structures (please see "Better Days Ahead?" in the October issue of NREI).

"I think Wall Street is not enamored with the real estate industry," Barovick said in the interview. "And Wall Street has a very difficult time differentiating a professional service firm like ours from the REITs and the REOPs (Real Estate Operating Cos.)"