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Top Women in Retail: Carrie Smith

Carrie Smith
Regional Managing Partner
Franklin Street
Jacksonville, FL

Carrie Smith stands out in the retail-tenant and landlord field as a broker who combines years of experience with access to real-time data and a full-service CRE team to create win-win situations for both owners and occupiers. Beyond closing deals, she is focused on maximizing profits for both sides of the business while creating and enhancing shopping destinations and experiences in the North Florida market. Smith and her team work every day as “ambassadors” for the unique and distinctive neighborhoods within the cities in which they work, live and play—especially in Jacksonville. As such, she’s been involved in some of the most creative deals in the North Florida market, including landing the first downtown site of Jimmy Johns, which continues the revitalizationof Downtown with national retailers locating in the urban core.

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Channelside Bay Plaza restaurant to close

A restaurant in Channelside Bay Plaza will close next month, leaving the waterfront property with a large vacancy.

Flambé International Bar & Grill will close on June 6, a spokeswoman for Franklin Street wrote in an email Friday. Franklin Street handles the leasing and property management of the plaza.

The restaurant, which serves American, Mediterranean and Mexican dishes, is 8,900 square feet, according to Kelsy Van Camp, director of marketing and public relations at Franklin Street.

“Strategic Property Partners has committed to present a long-term vision for Channelside Bay Plaza to Port Tampa Bay at the end of the summer,” Van Camp wrote. “The port board will have an opportunity to weigh in on those next steps, and at that point, we’ll be better positioned to speak to leasing.”

Strategic Property Partners is the real estate company controlled by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and Cascade Investment LLC. Vinik won the ground lease to the plaza in 2014, and the property is slated for a major overhaul as part of SPP’s planned $2 billion district in downtown Tampa.

The restaurant opened as Taverna Opa in December 2009, Van Camp said.

General Manager Chad Bolsinger could not be reached for comment Friday. An assistant general manager who answered the phone on Thursday declined comment on a closure.

Several tenants have said business has improved since SPP took over the plaza, between improvements to the property events meant to drive foot traffic to the businesses there.

In early May, SPP moved its offices to the plaza from Amalie Arena. At the April 19 port authority meeting, SPP CEO James Nozar is still vetting ideas for the renovation to the property.

“We think by being there, clearly, we’ll be a lot more visible and approachable to the tenants as well,” Nozar told the port authority.

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Movers & Shakers

Julie Abolafia joined Franklin Street’s South Florida as the director of multifamily investment sales. Abolafia has more than eight years of commercial real estate experience, including arranging the sale of more than 25 apartment communities in South Florida.

Franklin Street also hired Tom Farmer as director of agency leasing. He was previously a senior associate for CBRE’s brokerage services division, where Farmer provided strategic planning, landlord and tenant representation, and acquisition and disposition services. He will work closely with Lisa Jesmer, who left CBRE in October to join Franklin Street.

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Franklin Street hires associate appraiser

Wayne Moore
Associate Appraiser at Franklin Street

Education: Purdue University

Moore performs appraisal analysis, modeling, and research for several property types specializing in multifamily and office properties. Previously, he worked for Don R. Scheidt & Co. as a Commercial Real Estate Appraiser.

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This Is One Of The Last Value-Added Opportunities In Atlanta

ATLANTA—Whitlock Village, a multi-tenant retail center in the Atlanta suburb of Marrieta, GA, just traded hands. The 61,180-square-foot retail asset sold for $7 million, or $114.42 per square foot.

John Tennant and Bryan Belk of Franklin Street represented the seller, American National Insurance Company, in the transaction. The buyer is a private local investor, Snellville Plaza.

“Franklin Street was able to increase the NOI by adding strong tenants to the center through the tenant rep relationships we have in the area,” Tennant tells GlobeSt.com. “The increase in value also produced a very aggressive cap rate. This property offered the buyer one of the last value-add opportunities available in Atlanta.”

Whitlock Village is a newly renovated, retail center with Goodwill, Dollar Tree, and Hibbett Sporting Goods as tenants. The property is 96% occupied and located the fourth-largest principal city of the Atlanta MSA. Kroger, BB&T, Waffle House, Rite Aid, Bank of America and McDonalds surround the property.

“We were able to secure top-end pricing for Whitlock Village because of its prime position in the Marietta market,” Tennant says. “It is becoming increasingly harder for investors to find value-add deals as many of these well-entitled deals have already been renovated and redeveloped. This asset provides the buyer with the opportunity to develop an outparcel to create additional cash flow and to lease up the remaining space.”

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Fashion Mall to be replaced by new retail, residential complex


PLANTATION, Fla. – The Fashion Mall in Plantation is coming down and is set to be replaced with a mixed-use complex that’ll feature residential units and office space.

“I call it the regeneration of Plantation,” Mayor Diane Bendekovic said.

The mall was built in 1988. Back then, the mall had it all, including anchor stores like Bloomingdale’s, Lord & Taylor and Macy’s. But in 2005, the Macy’s shut down after it was damaged by Hurricane Wilma, and the mall completely shut down in 2007.

“That mall has been an eyesore for us the last 10 years,” Bendekovic said.

Now there is a $300 million plan to renovate it.

Bendekovic said the mixed-use complex will have 73,000 square feet of retail space, and nearly 700 residential units, as well as office space.

This type of development has become popular, according to Greg Matus, a commercial real estate expert.

“I just got back from the shopping center convention in Vegas and that is the movement in retail. People are looking for a place to spend time but they don’t want to walk through a mall,” Matus said.

Matus, a managing partner at Franklin Street, said the development is a home run.

“The marketplace is starving for this place to be redone,” he said. “You have a large young demographic moving out west.”

The developer, Art Falcone, said Planation is one of South Florida’s most desirable cities but it lacks a commercial and residential heart. Encore’s redevelopment of the Fashion Mall site will be a new town square.

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Franklin Street names director

People: Tom Farmer

Franklin Street has named Tom Farmer director of agency leasing. Mr. Farmer had been a senior associate for CBRE’s brokerage services division. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami.

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All the Angles

Andrew Wright founded real estate leasing and management company Franklin Street in 2006 when he was only 26. To better weather market downturns, Wright’s Tampa-based firm later branched out into insurance services, lending and appraisals. “I wanted a balance of offensive and defensive businesses,” he says.

The strategy served him well. When the mortgage loan business began collapsing as the recession hit in 2007, “our insurance business was taking off,” Wright says. “In the downturn, the banks needed property management and valuation appraisals. When the market picked up, we were able to recruit brokers and grow our retail business.”

In addition to its Florida offices – in Tampa Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale – Franklin Street has an Atlanta branch. The company now employs more than 200 and recently hired a new president of real estate and management services, Kurt Keaton, formerly with JLL. Wright envisions Franklin Street becoming a national brand within the next five years.

In 2014, Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik tapped Franklin Street to oversee the leasing and management of Channelside Bay Plaza, the waterfront entertainment center in downtown Tampa. Wright says the plaza eventually will tie into Vinik’s bigger plans for Channelside and downtown Tampa.

More generally in Florida, Wright sees opportunity in the apartment building and office sectors. “The rents are strong, and there’ a demand to buy properties.” Wright also views retail as a hot sector because of rising rents and tightening of space. “There’s a lot of demand for well located, high barrier-to-entry retail,” he says. “I see a lot of opportunity to reposition assets.”

Wright also has seen opportunities that intrigued him as an investor. He has invested personally in several real estate and finance transactions, careful not to invest in anything that would compete with his clients, he says. In some instances, his investments are partnerships. “Sometimes clients want us to co-invest in their projects so we are not just in it for the fees, and we do it.”

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Former Major League Baseball Pitcher Joins Franklin Street

Tom Farmer is hanging his shingle in Franklin Street’s South Florida offices.
The longtime commercial real estate professional comes on board as director of agency leasing.

Farmer brings more than 10 years of commercial real estate experience to Franklin Street. He specializes in landlord and tenant representation for office and retail clients in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Most recently, Farmer served as a senior associate for CBRE’s brokerage services division. During his time there, he provided strategic planning, landlord and tenant representation, acquisition and disposition services to corporate clients.
 
“Tom brings a wealth of experience with a variety of clients including USAA, Merrill Lynch and Bank of America to our growing office and industrial services team in South Florida,” says Greg Matus, Franklin Street’s regional managing partner in South Florida. Farmer will be working closely with Lisa Jesmer, who joined the firm from CBRE in October of 2015.

A graduate of the University of Miami, Farmer starred on two National Championship-winning Hurricane baseball teams. As a pitcher, he was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the seventh round of the 2001 Major League Baseball Draft. Farmer spent five years in the Tigers and Los Angeles Dodgers organizations.
 
“Overall, the Miami office market is experiencing a strong first half of 2016,” Farmer tells GlobeSt.com. “Increased net absorption, fueled by strong tenant demand has resulted in higher rental rates and other landlord favorable economic terms. What was previously a strong tenant market, with significant free rent and other economic incentives, has shifted to a more landlord friendly market with fewer front loaded economic incentives such as free rent and large tenant improvement allowances.”

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Franklin Street Brokers $7M Sale of Shopping Center in Metro Atlanta

MARIETTA, GA. — Franklin Street has brokered the $7 million sale of Whitlock Village, a 61,180-square-foot shopping center in Marietta. The center was 96 percent leased at the time of sale to tenants such as Goodwill, Dollar Tree and Hibbett Sports. John Tennant and Bryan Belk of Franklin Street represented the seller, American National Insurance Co., in the transaction. The buyer is a private local investor, Snellville Plaza LLLP, a partnership controlled by Atlanta-based M&P Shopping Centers. Simon Engler and Jeremy Rosenthal represented the buyer internally.

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