Franklin Street Appoints Liz Powers and Connor Barton

Franklin Street, a full-service, vertically integrated commercial real estate firm, has added two investment associates to the Fort Lauderdale office. Liz Powers and Connor Barton will both specialize in the marketing and sale of retail assets in the South Florida market and work closely with Robert Granda, a director of retail investment sales.

As part of the retail investment brokerage team, Powers and Barton will represent investors in the acquisition and disposition of strip shopping centers, unanchored strips, grocery and multi‐tenant anchored shopping centers.

Franklin Street has been focused on recruiting top talent across various divisions for our growing office in South Florida, and we are thrilled to welcome Liz and Connor,” said Greg Matus, Franklin Street’s senior vice president of investment sales. “Our goal is always to deliver the best service and value to our clients. In order to do so, we select only the best qualified candidates to join our team.”

“The buyer demand for quality retail properties remains strong and steady in South Florida,” said Granda. “As a result, we are gearing up with talent to better serve our clients and stay competitive in the local market.”

Both Powers and Barton are graduates of Florida State University and are licensed Florida Real Estate Sales Associates.

About Franklin Street: Celebrating more than 10 years in the business, Franklin Street is a family of full-service commercial real estate companies focused on delivering value-add solutions to meet the evolving needs of clients. Through a collaborative philosophy of leveraging the resources, expertise and experience of each of its divisions – Real Estate, Capital, Insurance, Management and Valuation – Franklin Street offers unmatched value and optimal solutions for clients nationwide. Learn more about Franklin Street at


An Emerging Firm Plans for Growth

Franklin Street is emerging from its first decade in business poised to apply a collaborative approach to grow its line of retail real estate services. 

Franklin Street offers multiple services to investors and occupiers throughout the multifamily, office and industrial sectors. Its retail services include landlord and tenant representation, financing, insurance services, property management, investment sales, project management, valuation advisory and property appraisal.

With growth guiding every corporate move in recent years, the company has been fortifying its infrastructure to maximize a tailored approach for investors and tenants. Overall, the growing staff is concentrating on applying data in new ways and is also drawn toward the popular format of the urban-style, mixed-use property for both groups of occupiers.

The company, with approximately 300 employees, is headquartered and was founded in Tampa and has four other Florida offices in Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, and Orlando as well as an office in Atlanta that opened in 2010. 

For the past few years, Franklin Street has been making strategic investments that specifically fuel growth. For example, a proprietary customer management system (CMS) and data mining platform known as Frankie was created internally in 2011. It allows all business teams to quickly and easily access data for a full cycle of an asset and to seamlessly share information.

And In 2015, Franklin Street updated its corporate structure, placing regional managing partners in each market and establishing presidents for each national business line.

The next chapter of business within the retail landscape is focused on taking market share from some larger competitors and opening new offices in the near future.

According to the team leading the charge, part of Franklin Street’s edge is its streamlined integration and its nimbleness navigating multiple business lines and markets by collaborating internally. 

This comes in handy for clients managing assets such as mixed-use properties who might be accustomed to needing separate contacts for each use. But Franklin Street’s capabilities and collaborative structure across retail, office, and multifamily, the team says, enables single points of contact in most of their deals.

Franklin Street was founded in 2006 by real estate entrepreneur Andrew Wright and a few friends, as a mortgage services firm. A business that, as Wright puts it in a video on the company’s website, went off like a light switch during the recession.

Luckily for the company, Franklin Street’s blueprint was designed to grow multiple lines of business, and that diversification enabled it to survive the lean years with help from the launch of its insurance business at the end of 2007. The firm grew quickly from there experiencing fast revenue growth and adding more service offerings. And in 2015, Franklin Street hit a milestone of $2 billion in transaction volume.

On the landlord representation side of business, Franklin Street’s portfolio includes 12 million square feet claimed by local, regional and national clients. On the retail representation side, Franklin Street represents 70 retailers in nine states and opened 123 stores in 2016. Retail tenant transactions totaled approximately $60 million in 2016.

Among recent company news, Franklin Street arranged the $23.35 million sale of the Ovation Town Center, a 96,750-square-foot, Publix-anchored shopping center in the Davenport submarket of Orlando, Florida. The property’s strategic location approximately 10 minutes from Disney World and just south of Orlando attracted strong investor interest in the shopping center.

Ovation Town Center was built to attract shoppers to the east of Interstate 4 and the thousands of annual visitors to the nearby Reunion Resort, a 2,300-acre gated community. The deal was a prime example of Franklin Street’s collaborative services platform in action. The Tampa retail team had pushed occupancy to 93% served while serving as the center’s exclusive leasing agent. Meanwhile, the Atlanta investment sales team represented the seller in the transaction.

Franklin Street was also selected to manage leasing for Vickers in Roswell, Georgia. The community is in a historic area of Roswell and includes 79 units of multifamily and a total of about 3,800 square feet of retail and 3,000 square feet of restaurant space.

The development, opening December 2017, is near a 640-acre historic district and a walkable downtown. The project demonstrates Franklin Street’s current center of gravity in the retail universe.

A local blog says the Vickers leasing team is seeking chef-driven restaurants and regional boutiques or fitness concepts to round out the project.

“It’s an interesting retail world we’re living in right now,” says Managing Director Monetha Cobb. “Retail is in transition as we seek categories that are Amazon-proof.” Cobb says Franklin Street is perfecting how to balance the need for transactional volume with changing consumer intentions.

The recipe for a retail center that may, for example, draw customers for movies or unique restaurants, but keeps them for a mix of shops, fitness, pop-ups or events is still evolving.

“You’re seeing developers who are having to spend much more time understanding operations for restaurants and retailers than they ever did in the past,” Cobb says. “They’re having to weigh credit versus uniqueness every day. The foundation is transforming not only with how we go after new business, but also how developers are vetting potential tenants.”  

Moving ahead in its retail business, Franklin Street hired Cary Beale this year as a senior vice president leading landlord management services.

Beale was formerly the vice president of leasing for DDR Corp.’s Atlanta office, but he also has experience from the retailer side, as an owner/operator of a cellular phone retailer and founder and owner of a Mongolian-style barbecue restaurant.

“Co-tenancy and how tenants complement each other is so critical to success,” Beale says. “From a landlord side, it’s very important that the leasing agent and the landlord make a game plan and strategically figure out who they want to target.”

Franklin Street is actively recruiting to grow its staff and says expansion in the Southeast is a goal as is upgrading technology and exploring new sources of data — an increasingly important driver for retailers.

“If there is one word to summarize us, it’s growth,” Cobb says. “We have spent the past couple of years really strengthening our infrastructure and leadership. We have a great foundation for what’s to come.”


People on the Move: Alec Laethem

Franklin Street, a full-service, vertically integrated commercial real estate firm, has hired Alec Laethem as an Associate in Insurance Services. Laethem will work with the South Florida regional team led by Ryan Cassidy and Evan Seacat.


Quality retail property executives are in big demand

Excerpted from December 2017 issue of Shopping Centers Today.

Full-service real estate firm Franklin Street has hired roughly 100 people over the past several years, at all levels and across a variety of disciplines, says Cary Beale, Franklin Street’s senior vice president of retail landlord services. “We have had a large uptick in hiring,” he said. Beale is, in fact, among those new hires: He and Nick Sanfilippo, who is senior vice president of project management, joined the firm’s Atlanta office this year. Beale’s primary focus is on ramping up business development and expanding his team. Sanfilippo heads the company’s newly launched project management division, which helps clients with construction, build-outs, permitting and other development services.

These expansions, both men say, hinge on more hiring. “Starting in 2018 there is going to be a large increase of our staff at Franklin Street,” said Sanfilippo. And given the tight labor market, says Beale, the trick will be to find candidates who have the right skills and the right mindset for the firm’s collaborative culture. “When we put a job offering out there, we’ll have 100-plus résumés come across our desk,” said Beale. “It is easy to find people; it is hard to find quality people.”

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How the ‘generational disruption’ of millennials is shifting real estate in Central Florida

Yvonne Baker is the regional managing partner of Franklin Street of Orlando.

The “generational disruption” unfolding today is of historic significance. The second wave millennials coming of age coincides with a transformation in the norms of life, work and society at every level.

The demographics of the millennial generation reveal they are the largest consumer group in U.S. history. There are currently some 75.4 million millennials (born between 1980-1997). That means a significant number of today’s real estate decisions, as well as those connected to the workplace, are made by people younger than 40 years of age.

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Franklin Street Expands Tampa Retail Brokerage Team with Two New Hires

Franklin Street, a full-service commercial real estate brokerage firm headquartered in Tampa, has added two new hires to its commercial retail services team. The new hires are Jordan Stephens, leasing associate, and Anthony Suarez, investment sales associate.

“We’re extremely pleased to have these two talented young brokers join the Franklin Street team,” said Ryan Derriman, director of retail leasing for Franklin Street. “Both of them bring a high level of enthusiasm and a client-centered focus that makes them a natural fit for the collaborative workplace culture that our firm is based upon.”

In his new role, Jordan Stephens will advise clients on marketing/advertising retail properties to potential tenants, identifying retail tenants to enhance a shopping center’s tenant mix, assisting in qualifying prospects, negotiating leases, and market analysis.

Prior to joining Franklin Street, Stephens served as an Associate for InterState Commercial Real Estate in New Jersey, where he specialized in landlord/tenant representation, retail/restaurant leasing, and locating local and national retailers. Stephens is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers. He received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Drexel University.

As part of the retail investment advisory team, Anthony Suarez will specialize in the marketing and sales of retail assets for clients throughout Tampa Bay and the west coast of Florida. He is responsible for conducting underwriting of disposition and acquisition opportunities, performing financial modeling, and coordinating acquisition and disposition due diligence.

Suarez is a graduate of Florida State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Real Estate. He is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Franklin Street is actively recruiting as we continue to focus on expanding our presence across the Southeast,” said Kurt Keaton, president of real estate services and management services for Franklin Street. “Jordan and Anthony will help us continue to expand our reach in Tampa as we grow Franklin Street’s retail services throughout the market.”

About Franklin Street:
Celebrating more than 10 years in the business, Franklin Street is a family of full-service commercial real estate companies focused on delivering value-add solutions to meet the evolving needs of clients. Through a collaborative philosophy of leveraging the resources, expertise and experience of each of its divisions – Real Estate, Capital, Insurance, Management and Valuation – Franklin Street offers unmatched value and optimal solutions for clients nationwide. Learn more about Franklin Street at


Franklin Street Named One of Largest Orlando Property Management Firms

The Orlando Business Journal ranked commercial property management firms by total Central Florida square feet managed.

Rank Address
Total C Fla. SF for Properties Managed  Industrial space managed Office space managed Retail space managed
#25 Franklin Street

20 N. Orange Ave. #610
Orlando, FL 33801

779,868 110,455 62,1652 47,761

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Tampa Confidential: Laura Roy, Property Manager, The Morrison

Franklin Street’s Laura Roy serves as property manager for The Morrison, a five-story, mixed-use lifestyle development project in the Soho Corridor of Tampa.

Favorite spot to take guests from out of town: Grab a Tampa Bay Orange Crush at The Sail Pavilion while the sun sets, jump on the Pirate Water Taxi and head up the river to Ulele.

Favorite place to watch a Lightning game with friends: I can honestly say I only watch the Lightning when I can make it to Amalie Arena. The energy in the arena and live action on the ice is so much fun!

Favorite local boutique: Why Not Boutique is affordable and fun! They have the absolute best selection of clothes and accessories for Gasparilla season.

Favorite local store: The Write Stuff has the cutest selection of gifts and stationery for all occasions. You can always find a last-minute gift there that doesn’t scream “last-minute gift.”

Favorite place for a healthy meal: Zoe’s Kitchen has the freshest Mediterranean food. They have grab-and-go snacks and salads if you’re short on time and want to eat healthy. The harissa red pepper hummus with cucumbers and pita bread is delicious!

Favorite dive restaurant: If you love grouper sandwiches, do yourself a favor and check out Big Ray’s Fish Camp. And don’t forget to order the garlic fries!

Favorite place for a cup of coffee and coffee drink of choice: The Morrison is thrilled to welcome the Blind Tiger Café! The 1920s speakeasy-inspired coffee house is the perfect place to sit and relax with a cup of coffee. The Blind Tiger blend is delicious.

Favorite dive bar: The Hub. If I have made it to The Hub, I have stayed out way too late. I dare you to go there and order a double!

Favorite place to grab a drink downtown: Le Méridien used to be the old federal courthouse in downtown. The bar, Bizou Brassiere, has a cool throwback vibe with great cocktails.

Favorite place for a long walk: Downtown Tampa’s skyline is so beautiful when the sun is setting. There’s no better vantage point than Bayshore Boulevard.

Favorite restaurant across the bay: Stillwaters Tavern in Downtown St. Petersburg is a great spot for comfort food and craft cocktails.

Favorite place across the bay: Downtown St. Pete – no question! I love everything about it. Downtown St. Pete has something for everyone, and I always enjoy my time there. ­­­


6th Annual CREW Tampa Bay Excellence Awards

Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Tampa Bay, is pleased to announce the winners of the sixth annual Excellence Awards event that was held on November 16th at the Bryan Glazer Family JCC. This event honors top talent and recognizes significant transactions in commercial real estate. The award nominees were generated by CREW Tampa Bay members and submitted by others within the commercial real estate community.

A panel of real estate, development and civic leaders served as judges to review the applications. The awards highlight the achievements completed during the period of September 20, 2016, through September 29, 2017. The awards themselves were designed and commissioned by local artist, Sean Pascoe, of Sean A Sea Art. DJ Coro provided the entertainment.

Award categories included several CREW Members Only awards and many more CREW Industry Awards which were open to both members and non-member individuals and companies.

Tina Fischer, Fletcher & Fischer P.L. and Jan Chaffee, JC Commercial Brokers, LLC chaired this year’s Excellence Awards.


(Finalist) Office Lease Excellence Award

Mercedes Angell – Cushman & Wakefield; Clay Wommack – Franklin Street – Amscot Corporation

(Winner) Retail Lease Excellence Award

Brian Bern, Ryan Derriman, & Lori Lockard – Franklin Street – The Morrison


Is Black Friday Still Relevant For Brick-And-Mortar Retail?

Black Friday, the infamous U.S. shopping holiday known for bad behavior amongst deal seekers who traditionally line up well before the crack of dawn to swipe their credit cards and churn billions of dollars into the economy, may be on its deathbed.

But it’s not dead yet. That’s because despite data that shows shoppers think Black Friday is the most stressful time to shop — not to mention the meteoric rise of e-commerce that fuels apocalyptic foretellings of brick-and-mortar retail’s demise — Black Friday is still the No. 1 sales weekend of the year. Yet, seismic change is afoot — and if retailers do not adapt Black Friday could very well become a relic of a bygone era. Bisnow reached out to more than 30 commercial real estate retail experts in the U.S. to ask one question: Is Black Friday still relevant for brick-and-mortar retail? Here are their answers:

NAME: Cary Beale 

TITLE: SVP of Retail Landlord Services Division 

COMPANY: Franklin Street 

CITY: Atlanta 

Black Friday has consistently been one of the highest annual grossing sales days since the shopping phenomenon earned its official name in the early 1950s. Consumers still spend more than half of their shopping budgets in-store. I think the most important retailers to consider when analyzing the relevance of brick-and-mortar are the bargain brands such as Walmart, which boasts more shoppers on Black Friday than annual visitors at Disney World. For these giant discount retailers, Black Friday is infinitely important.  

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