Top office and industrial trends that will impact Northeast Florida in 2018

Businesses, investors and real estate owners are still watching and waiting for the office and industrial markets to catch up with the real estate boom happening in Florida and across the country. Jacksonville is still slow to recover fully from the recession, there are some high points in the market and indicators all analysts will be watching this year. Will this be a banner year for growth and expansion in these markets? Many economic indicators suggest the answer is “yes.”

Northeast Florida’s construction boom

In Northeast Florida, the fourth quarter 2017 office vacancy ended at 7.6% with an annual net absorption of 644,000 square feet. Various general economic and market factors will continue to have a major influence on occupancy and vacancy rates in 2018. 

The PGA Tour has announced a new, expanded 200,000-square-foot headquarters in Ponte Vedra (Jacksonville metro). is making a multimillion dollar investment in a newly constructed 200,000-square-foot office at Town Center Two, bringing its 3,500 employees closer to the city’s center while still enjoying a sprawling suburban campus. Town Center Two is an 18-acre site that will host a six-story, 218,700-square-foot office building with parking for 1,200 cars and an open floor plans including collaborative workspaces to foster greater teamwork, creativity and efficiency, according to the company.

McKesson Corporation recently announced its plans for a 125,000-square-foot Class A building in the popular and growing Gate Parkway area as part of the Southside Quarter development by Hines, also near the Town Center. These traditional office uses will continue to drive the market in Northeast Florida.

In the Jacksonville area, the Q4 2017 industrial vacancy totaled at 3.5%with an annual net absorption of 7.1 million square feet. This is an area that heavily relies upon imports and exports to drive manufacturing, storage and logistics in the market. JAXPort is already reporting increased traffic and activity in the first quarter of 2018 and we expect this will grow steadily this year. The first phase of dredging of the St. Johns has started in earnest after a long and arduous environmental fight. The dredging is important to JAXPort in its efforts to stay current with East Coast ports competing for post-Panamax ships and their cargo.

The big gorilla in the market continues to be Amazon with four current or planned locations. The giant e-commerce company is pouring money into the Jacksonville market. We expect to see continued expansion and improvement of our overall transportation and logistics infrastructure to support the reliance on Amazon for everyday products. We are already seeing a huge interest in the underdeveloped Northside and Westside as Amazon makes its mark in the region. Most of the deals now taking place involve around 200,000 square feet or with smaller offices of about 5,000 square feet.

Commercial real estate firms like Franklin Street are seeing increased need for space related to warehousing and back-office support functions, in both the office and industrial arenas. On the national level, several factors are impacting how occupants use office space. The market is experiencing higher demand for smaller square foot needs per employee, open-concept offices, and Class A/amenity-rich spaces. These “next generation” offices will be more prevalent in existing spaces being renovated or remodeled and we’ll continue to see this trend in new construction as well. 

Population growth and job creation are two of the leading indicators to watch in Florida. The population growth is outpacing the national average and suburbs like Clay County/Orange Park and St. Johns County, with its #1 rated school district in the state, are benefitting from a surge of residents making these areas their home. Jacksonville’s unemployment rate currently stands at a healthy 3.1%, slightly better than the state of Florida (3.7%) and the national average (4.1%).

What to do now if you’re looking for tenants

Today’s tenants are looking for spaces that fit their workforce. Amenities such as conference rooms, flex spaces, access to the newest technologies, as well as breakrooms, continue to be important to commercial tenants who are expanding or relocating. Suburban locations and mid-rise buildings near commerce centers are still popular. Locations in areas with sidewalks and other access to parks or recreation are in demand as employers are focused more on employee wellness now than in the past. 

What to do now if you’re looking for space

As always, choice locations are at a premium. The best advice for new office users and large companies looking to relocate – start early. We see companies taking over a year to find and build-out a suitable location. Leaving extra time for permitting, construction and build-outs is crucial to success in a crowded and growing market.

Real estate companies, brokers and developers all continue to pay close attention to the market as recovery takes place in the office and industrial segments. With low inventory and no new construction available for lease immediately, many companies will need to get creative with their approach for finding workspace.


Yvonne Baker has more than 25 years of office leasing experience in the commercial real estate market. As Regional Managing Partner, she currently leads both the Orlando and the Jacksonville offices and employees for Franklin Street. Ms. Baker has generated a lease volume of more than $350 million with over 4.5 million square feet of executed leases. She has received several recognitions including the University of Central Florida’s 2017 Notable Knight Award, multiple CoStar Power Broker Awards, Orlando Business Journal’s 2014 Women Who Mean Business and NAIOP’s President Award in 2015.


Former Colliers Principal Accepts Senior Director Role with Franklin Street

Top Retail Tenant Broker Greg Eisenman Joins Rival’s Retail Tenant Services Division

Franklin Street has recruited retail tenant specialist Greg Eisenman to the firm as senior director of the company’s retail tenant services division. 

Eisenman, who leaves Colliers International as senior vice president and principal, will represent retail, restaurant and service occupiers while operating under Monetha Cobb, Franklin Street Atlanta’s managing director and head of the firm’s retail tenant representation division. 

During his time at Colliers, Eisenman was a member of the firm’s “Everest Club” as one of the company’s top five percent of retail brokers nationally. He also earned “top 10 status” in the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors Million Dollar Club on multiple occasions, and is a perennial CoStar “Retail Power Broker.” 

Eisenman is a member of ICSC and a co-founder of the Young Atlanta Retail Alliance. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia.


People on the Move: Greg Eisenman


Greg Eisenman
Senior Director at Franklin Street
EDUCATION:  University of Georgia (Athens, GA)

Greg Eisenman has joined Franklin Street’s Retail Tenant Services division as senior director. In this role, Eisenman will focus on the representation of retail, restaurant and service occupiers, working with them in strategic growth and development through site selection, lease and purchase transaction and market planning.


Franklin Street Closes Record Sale of Fort Lauderdale Apartments

Excerpted from Daily Business Review story.

The $2.9 million sale of an apartment building in Fort Lauderdale was a record for the highest unit price fetched for a 1970s apartment property in the city’s Victoria Park neighborhood.

The sale price breaks down to $241,667 for each of the 12 units.

The deal was handled by a Franklin Street team. Investment associate Dan Dratch in Fort Lauderdale, multifamily investment sales director Hernando Perez in Miami and investment associate Kameron Djamal in Plantation closed the deal Jan. 19 on behalf of the seller.

For full story, visit


Top-Producing Broker Joins Franklin Street in Atlanta

Franklin Street, a full-service commercial real estate firm, announced today that Greg Eisenman has joined the company’s Retail Tenant Services division as senior director.  In this role, Eisenman will focus on the representation of retail, restaurant and service occupiers, working with them in strategic growth and development through site selection, lease and purchase transaction and market planning. 

“Greg is one of the leading retail brokers in the country,” said Kurt Keaton, president of real estate services and management services for Franklin Street. “We are thrilled to be able to benefit from his talents and depth of experience. Greg will be a tremendous asset to our retail tenant team and to our clients across the country.”

Eisenman brings a strong history facilitating successful retail transactions across metro Atlanta, the southeastern U.S., and beyond to the Franklin Street Real Estate Services team. Most recently, he worked as senior vice president and principal in Colliers International’s Atlanta office, where he focused on retail tenant representation. There, he earned “top 10 status” in the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors Million Dollar Club on multiple occasions, was previously a member of Colliers International’s “Everest Club” as one of the company’s top five percent of retail brokers nationally, and is a perennial CoStar “Retail Power Broker.”

“I’ve always had considerable respect for Franklin Street and their retail team, so it’s an honor to have the opportunity to join the team as we strive collectively to keep setting new standards of excellence in client service,” said Eisenman. “I am very passionate about the real estate services I am able to provide for clients, as well as the relationships that come with working in this business.  Franklin Street is the perfect place for me to continue to grow both personally and professionally.”

“Greg is a highly respected industry leader who has produced exceptional results throughout his long career,” said Monetha Cobb, managing director of Franklin Street’s Atlanta office, who will continue to lead the firm’s retail tenant representation division. Cobb also serves as the Immediate Past President for Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Atlanta. “He is extremely hard-working and has a strong track record in retail tenant representation, land and outparcel brokerage and retail tenant disposition. His experience and background in representing retail users will help us to expand the services we offer our clients. ”

Active in the retail industry, Eisenman is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and a co-founder of the Young Atlanta Retail Alliance. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees and chairs the Real Estate Division of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta.  Eisenman also enjoys opportunities to give his time and talents to various community organizations, including past work with the Atlanta Community Food Bank, The Mary Hall Freedom House, and Jewish Family and Career Services. He received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Georgia.

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 Hires Danielle Oliva as Director of Human Resources

Franklin Street, a full-service commercial real estate firm, announces the hiring of Danielle Oliva as Director of Human Resources. Ms. Oliva will work in the firm’s Tampa, FL headquarters and report to the Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel, Eual Tyler Cathey. Ms. Oliva comes to Franklin Street with more than a decade of experience in Human Resources management.
In this role, Ms. Oliva will be responsible for guiding and managing Franklin Street’s employee relations, services, policies and programs, and for ensuring that the firm remains an industry-leading and award-winning employer.
As Director, Ms. Oliva will design and implement strategic initiatives to support Franklin Street’s continued, rapid growth plans. Focusing on the firm’s core values of Collaboration, Integrity, Hard Work, and Accountability, Ms. Oliva’s responsibilities include leading the recruitment process of new talent, developing and implementing companywide policy and document processes, ensuring employee and company compliance to regulatory concerns, and leading the development and improvement of employee benefits package—all while continuing to develop Franklin Street’s collaborative environment and employee-focused culture values. Ms. Oliva will oversee an employment base of more than 300 hundred team members, across six office locations from Miami to Atlanta.
Prior to joining Franklin Street, Ms. Oliva served as the Director of Human Resources at Pegasus TransTech, where she led talent recruitment and onboarding, employee relations, performance management, and benefit and wellness initiatives for employees in multiple state offices. She has also held varying leadership roles in human resources and operations management for Quest Diagnostics and Network Synergy Group.

“I am excited to join Franklin Street during such a key growth period in the firm’s history,” says Ms. Oliva. “As Franklin Street continues to grow and provide unmatched service to our clients, we are focused on recruiting top talent across various divisions to take advantage of our entrepreneurial and collaborative platform.” 

“We are thrilled to have an executive with Danielle’s credentials join our leadership team at Franklin Street,” says Mr. Cathey. “She will play a critical role in developing a human resources strategy to ensure that we are recruiting and retaining the best professionals in a highly competitive commercial real estate marketplace. In addition to recruitment efforts, Danielle will develop and lead strategies to ensure that Franklin Street’s employee-focused culture remains a strong part of our core. By focusing on a competitive benefits package, building a thriving and collaborative workplace culture and implementing employee-focused initiatives, Danielle will play a major role in strategically positioning Franklin Street for future growth.”  
Along with her work with Franklin Street, Ms. Oliva serves as an active member and volunteer for HR Tampa. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of South Florida. She holds a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification and her Society for Human Resource Management Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) certification.

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


Real Estate Investors Continue To Roll Dice On Disaster-Prone Assets

Excerpted from Bisnow story.

Franklin Street Director of Multifamily Investment Sales Hernando Perez previously told Bisnow that several investors initiated conversations to pull out of South Florida following Irma. He said these clients were new to the market and had yet to experience a strong hurricane. Instead of going through the patching and rebuilding process, these clients wanted to switch to assets that require less responsibility and were in areas that were not as vulnerable to storms and shifts in the market.

For full story, visit


Shaping Their Identity — A celebration of Black History Month

Excerpted from Jacksonville Business Journal story.

Leaders. Educators. Trailblazers. Fighters. Mothers and fathers, mentors and models. Across the First Coast, a range of African American men and women are changing how we do business and who we are as a city. In celebration of Black History Month, we sit down with some of them to talk about how they are Shaping Their Identities.

Franklin Street

Justin Spiller believes identity comes from two places: how someone is perceived and how they perceive themselves. Managing people’s perceptions can be exhausting, yet it’s a chore most African-Americans are very familiar with.

“We have to be cognizant about how people perceive us, whether we’re white or black,” said Spiller, associate director of investment sales at Franklin Street. “You can identify as whatever you want, but we’re still in a country where people’s perceptions matter.”

Changing people’s perceptions, Spiller believes, requires engagement and honest communication.

“It requires building a relationship with someone to change their initial thoughts about who you are,” Spiller said. “And that goes beyond color … .”

There is a lot of relationship-building and work to do, and Spiller believes the observation of Black History Month is a small but necessary start.

“Frankly, we should celebrate black history throughout the year,” he said. “In a perfect world, we wouldn’t distinguish between black history and American history, but because there’s still a lack of emphasis on the contributions of African-Americans in this country — other than a few — I think the devotion of a month is very critical.”

Although Spiller’s work hasn’t changed his ideas about race and equality in America, it has impressed upon him a sense of duty to try to improve the path for others.

“It’s reminded me that while I have sat at many tables where I’m the only African-American, it doesn’t mean equality has been achieved just because I’m sitting at that table,” he said. “At the end of the day, a single African-American, or even a couple, doesn’t satisfy diversity at a firm. At the same time – that single black person or those few – should they so choose, have the ability to shape the experience of others.”


Leases, warehouses, retail and more in the works in Central Florida

Excerpted from Orlando Business Journal.

CenterState Bank NA announced plans to expand its operations in Orlando by moving its downtown branch to 20 North Orange, a newly renovated office tower located at the corner of Orange Avenue and Central Boulevard. Franklin Street’s Yvonne Baker, regional managing partner for Orlando and Jacksonville, and Nicole Willerer, director of office and industrial agency leasing, represented the building’s owner, Steelbridge Capital LLC, in the transaction.

For full story, visit


Leigh Anne McGarry chosen for CREW leadership program

Franklin Street’s Leigh Anne McGarry, Leasing Associate with the Retail Landlord Leasing team in Atlanta, has been chosen by Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Atlanta to participate in its 2018 leadership development program dedicated to building professional and personal growth. McGarry is among 30 participants selected from about 90 CREW Atlanta member applicants from all aspects of commercial real estate. 

Applications were evaluated on criteria that include demonstrated or potential leadership, community involvement, and individual achievements in the candidate’s professional position, community or CREW organization.

The 11-month program began in January with an overnight retreat and monthly sessions will explore career development topics, including conflict resolution, presentation skills, financial awareness, time management, personality testing/awareness, and team building. Franklin Street’s Monetha Cobb, a Leadership CREW alumnus (Class of 2008), serves as Managing Director for the Atlanta office.

In her time at Franklin Street, McGarry has worked with local, regional, and national clients such as DDR, Washington Prime Group, Bluerock Real Estate, Equity One, JBL Asset Management, Slate, and Sandor Development. She is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and CREW, where she serves on the Network Committee and the Social Committee.

“I am so honored to be chosen for this year’s leadership program,” says McGarry. “The program agenda for the year offers courses to help cultivate communication and leadership skills that I can implement in my career. CREW Leadership creates such a unique opportunity for women to come together and create long lasting relationships in the commercial real estate industry.”

For more information about Leadership CREW, visit