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Business Observer: Pent-Up Optimism

This article from Business Observer offers insight from commercial real estate leaders on how the market is expected to perform in 2021. See below for a sample of quotes from Franklin Street’s experts.

On Industrial:

“Industrial properties have outperformed every asset class save for residential in the greater Tampa Bay area, because of the rise of e-commerce, and I don’t expect that to end anytime soon,” says Pat Kelly, regional managing partner at Franklin Street, a Tampa-based commercial real estate services firm.

On Multifamily:

In the Tampa Bay area, multifamily starts and transactions are expected to continue unabated in 2021, thanks to abundant available equity and financing opportunities available from the government sponsored Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

As a result, investor interest is almost certain to keep capitalization rates compressed throughout the new year, says Darron Kattan, Franklin Street’s managing director of multifamily sales.

As a result, investor interest is almost certain to keep capitalization rates compressed throughout the new year, says Darron Kattan, Franklin Street’s managing director of multifamily sales.

On Retail Sales:

John Tennant, senior director of retail investment sales and Franklin Street, says the second half of the year should be especially robust for single-tenant properties and grocery-anchored centers.

“I think there will be a huge gain in transactional volume for retail properties, in part because there’s a lot of capital out there,” Tennant says.

On Retail Leasing:

“I think retail is going to come back roaring,” says Monetha Cobb, Franklin Street’s senior vice president of retail leasing. “People want to be together, they just want to feel safe doing it.”

Read the full article from Business Observer.

In the News Industry Publication Research

Striking it RICH: Franklin Street’s Tom Rybak Keeps Things Light

Welcome to the next post in our “Striking it RICH” blog series! This series features Atlas clients, vendors, employees and supporters who embody one or more of our company’s Core Values:





This month’s post features Tom Rybak at Franklin Streetan Atlas client representing the Core Value of Humor.

About Franklin Street

Established in 2006, Franklin Street is one of the fastest-growing full-service commercial real estate firms in the Southeast. The firm offers commercial real estate brokerage, landlord and tenant representation, capital advisory, insurance, property management and project management services.

Headquartered in Tampa, Franklin Street has five locations in Florida and one in Atlanta, and 325 employees. In 2019, the firm exceeded $1.1 billion in company-wide sales volume.

IT at Franklin Street

Franklin Street’s IT team includes three full-time professionals, including Chief Information Officer Tom Rybak. Rybak brought in Atlas Professional Services several years ago to assist his internal IT team at Franklin Street with special projects.

“Atlas has helped us with things like firewall issues that were beyond our knowledge, some domain controller issues and also with helping us think through bigger-picture planning,” Rybak said. “Atlas has been a great partner. It’s like asking a friend for advice. I trust them and know they’re providing honest feedback.”

A Laughing Matter

Anyone who has had direct experience with Atlas’s company culture or follows us on social media knows humor is a key part of who we are. Rybak says keeping things light is a trait he embraces at Franklin Street, too.

“For me, humor comes naturally. I’m fairly sarcastic. I always say it’s a sign of intelligence,” Rybak jokes.

Since Rybak joined Franklin Street 10 years ago – originally as IT Director while also overseeing the marketing department for several years – he’s concentrated on creating an environment that “doesn’t feel like work.” From embracing humor to hosting happy hours and themed department parties to playing music in the office, Rybak likes to keep things casual.

“Of course, there’s still a level of respect and accountability that we expect from our team, but we have a lot of fun and a lot of team-building activities,” Rybak said. “We pride ourselves on our culture and our people.”

Similarly, the Atlas office is equipped with a pool table, video games, lounge space and is the site of frequent birthday and holiday celebrations. And, there is joking aplenty, with co-workers and clients, like Rybak.

“I have Polish grandparents and Tom is Polish and speaks the language fluently,” said Atlas CEO Greg Zolkos. “When Tom needs help our help with something, he has to use the code word: pierogi.”

To conclude with a quote from former U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower: “A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.”

View the full article here.

Featured Deal In the News Industry Publication

REBusiness Online: Franklin Street Arranges $18.5M Sale of Multifamily Portfolio in Montgomery

Communal amenities at Fields One Center (pictured) and Fields Carriage Hills include three swimming pools, two clubhouses, a fitness center, business center, playground, tennis courts, storage space and laundry facilities.

MONTGOMERY, ALA. — Franklin Street has arranged the $18.5 million sale of a two-property multifamily portfolio in southeast Montgomery. The portfolio comprises the 240-unit Fields One Center and the 242-unit Fields Carriage Hills. Fields One Center is located at 4220 Strathmore Drive, which is situated two miles from Fields at Carriage Hills at 3364 Fountain Lane. The properties each offer one-, two- and three-bedroom floor pans averaging 970 square feet. The properties were 72 percent occupied at the time of sale. 


In the News Industry Publication

Southeast Real Estate Business: Pandemic may lead to opportunities for Orlando’s most resilient retailers

By Terrence Hart, Senior Director of Retail Services with Franklin Street

For the Orlando retail market, which relies heavily on Central Florida’s $75 billion tourism industry, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been twofold. Not only has the local consumer base begun relying more heavily on online shopping and home-cooked meals, but the number of out-of-state and international visitors who typically travel to Central Florida for its renowned theme parks and attractions has plummeted.

Statewide, Florida’s tourism industry suffered an estimated 60.5 percent drop in visitors during the year’s second quarter, with international travel down more than 90 percent, according to Visit Florida.

Submarkets built around Walt Disney World, the Orange County Convention Center and Universal Orlando, such as International Drive, the U.S. Highway 192 Corridor and Celebration, have taken an especially hard hit. Many restaurants designed around a sit-down experience will not recover. Although creative solutions are in action, sidewalk seating and ghost kitchens can only generate so much revenue to recover restaurants’ already razor-thin margins.

But out of the slump have come opportunities for some retailers to shine, whether they’ve adapted their business model or already happened to have pandemic resistant infrastructure in place. Further, as the winners and losers of COVID-19-era retail become clear, retailers and restaurants that prevail are positioned to gain access to better real estate, more generous lease options and, potentially, discounted rents.

Read Terrence Hart’s full guest column in the August 2020 edition of Southeast Real Estate Business.

In the News Industry Publication Is a Career in CRE Right For You?

A commercial real estate career can be rewarding and challenging—but it isn’t necessarily for everyone. We talked to experts to find out how college graduates and young people can decide if a career in this industry is right for them, and what it takes to build a successful career.

New entrants into the market should align with industry veterans and build career-lasting relationships. “Take the initiative to learn from those around you and build relationships with industry veterans,” Zach Ames, senior director at Franklin Street, tells “Recognize your strengths and weaknesses and leverage your resources to strengthen both. Be diligent and responsible but understand the important of confidence. Understand the value of building meaningful relationships in the communities in which you live and work. Stay committed to your personal and professional growth, and most importantly, lead by example.”

Read the full article on

In the News Industry Publication Trends

SCB: Lenders are Slow Out of the Gate as Central Florida Retail Market Begins Recovery, Says Webinar Panel

Commercial real estate lenders have remained timid as retail businesses in the Central Florida market navigate how to operate successfully during the COVID-19 crisis. As of this writing, Orange County had the 23rd most cases by county in the United States with 36,400 positive coronavirus cases and 378 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University (JHU).

The metro Orlando county is currently in Phase II of the Sunshine State’s reopening plan, which includes allowing restaurants to bump up capacity from 50 percent in Phase I to now 75 percent; retailers can operate at full capacity; fitness centers can operate at 50 percent capacity; and bars can operate at 50 percent of standing room capacity. Phase II for most of the state’s counties went into effect June 5.

While residents and businesses have begun the process of returning to pre-pandemic shopping norms, Chuck Whittall, president of Unicorp National Developments, said banks are still cautious.

“There is a lot of fear on the credit side of the world,” said Whittall. “We experienced it after 9/11, in 2009 and we are experiencing it again now.”

Orlando-based Unicorp broke ground last month on O-Town West, a $1 billion mixed-use development along Interstate 4 and three miles north of Walt Disney World Resort. The 82-acre project will have 250,000 square feet of retail space, which is 92 percent preleased.

Whittall’s comments came during InterFace Conference Group’s Central Florida Retail Outlook webinar, hosted by Shopping Center Business and Southeast Real Estate Business on Monday, Aug. 31. Other panelists included Ralph Conti, principal at RaCo Real Estate; Cindy Schooler, managing director of SRS Real Estate Partners; Ivy Greaner, chief operating officer of InvenTrust Properties; Kurt Keaton, president of real estate services at Franklin Street; and moderator Beth Azor, founder and owner of Azor Advisory Services.

Lenders are hesitant due to the uncertainty of the retail market as many retailers struggle to find their footing amid slumping sales. Lenders are worried about their borrowers being able to make their mortgage payments, especially if the shopping centers being financed have tenants that are deferring their monthly rent.

Keaton echoed Whittall’s statement about apprehension in the capital markets, adding that the economy is waiting on lenders to open back up for business.

“A lot of the single-tenant deals have continued to move forward out there on the investment sale side,” said Keaton. “The real holdback right now on the grocery-anchored shopping centers is on the lender side. As [lender balance sheets] get figured out and loosen up, that’s going to be an important contingency as we move forward and businesses start to open up, not just in Central Florida, but across the Southeast.”

Read the full recap or watch a replay of the webinar from Shopping Center Business.

In the News Industry Publication How Young Professionals Are Changing the Industry

Young professionals are driving change in the commercial real estate industry. For years, new technologies—from virtual rent collection to digital document signing—have promised to deliver efficiencies to the market, but adoption has been another story. The industry has an older average age demographic than most other industries. According to NAR, for example, brokers have a median age of 60 years old. These groups tend to be reluctant to adapt new technologies, but as more millennials and gen-Z members enter the industry, technology adoption is becoming inevitable.

The use of data isn’t necessarily new for the CRE market. “High quality data has always been an important aspect of commercial real estate and multifamily investment sales,” says Zach Ames, senior director at Franklin Street. “Historically, this data was limited to local and regional snapshots but recent advancements in technology allow users to easily review data from buyers, sellers and tenants both nationally and internally.” Technology can help to leverage data and create cost-savings efficiencies that can ultimately change the market. Ames lists e-contracts to virtual tours as just a handful of the technologies that fit into this category. [These have] the diverse range of value that utilization of new technology by young professionals has had on the commercial real estate industry,” he adds.

While the industry is starting to evolve, the professionals agree that younger generations are the key to driving the evolution. “The use of industry-leading technology by young professionals is evolving the industry’s approach to business and deal making,” says Ames. “From financial analysis and database research to property marketing and client communication, their ability to quickly adopt and utilize technology is disrupting a historically archaic system.”

Read the full article on

Industry Publication Trends

​Franklin Street and Ally Capital Group Unveil Mural at Westshore City Center

Franklin Street and Ally Capital Group Unveil Mural at Westshore City Center in Tampa, FL

Tampa, FL (April 8, 2020) –  Ally Capital Group commissioned local mural artist, Illsol, to create the largest mural to-date in the Westshore business district at Westshore City Center in Tampa, FL.

Over the last 6 months, Franklin Street and Ally Capital Group worked closely with Illsol on a design for the main building of the property that faces Westshore Boulevard. 

“This mural is a representation of the Westshore Business District moving forward as a hub of transportation and innovation” said Andrew Wright, CEO and Managing Partner of Franklin Street and a partner in Ally Capital. “The leadership at Tampa International Airport, Westshore City Center and throughout the Westshore Business District are committed to following through on initiatives that improve our community and make Tampa a top city to live and work.”

“Creating a sense of place that the community can connect with is something that is done so well through public art initiatives, like murals” said Matt Chadwick, Director for Ally Capital Group. “The mural at Westshore City Center adds vibrant character to the Westshore Business District and supports a dialogue for development, innovation and progress.”

For more than 35 years, the Westshore Alliance has been the voice of Westshore.   The Alliance and its members focus on initiatives designed to help transform Westshore into a walkable urban district.  Installing wider sidewalks, adding green spaces and establishing a bike network are among the organization’s initiatives to develop the Westshore District of the future.

“The vibrant and eye-catching Illsol art installation serves as a modern focal point in the Westshore District. It’s a welcome addition to West Shore Boulevard and one we hope will serve as a catalyst for other community arts projects for all residents and employees in the area to enjoy.” – Ann Kulig, Westshore Alliance Executive Director

The mural covers the west façade of 1311 Westshore Boulevard, and is only the first of several art installations to be included in the redevelopment of the property.  Formerly the Austin Center, the business park consists of five office buildings on a 10.4-acre parcel. Owned by Ally Capital, and managed by Franklin Street, the property has already started undergoing a capital improvement campaign of at least $10 million in building and campus upgrades.

“The title of the mural is 7:44 and the design represents growth and renewal,” said Tony Kroll, Illsol.  “It’s meant to show that the impact of our community is monumental. Tampa is full of creators and problem solvers who believe in making the world a better place.”