ORLANDO—Yvonne Baker, a true heavyweight commercial real estate professional in Central Florida, has switched allegiances. She is moving from Cushman & Wakefield to Franklin Street as a regional managing partner for the firm’s Orlando office.
In her new role, Baker is responsible for growing the company’s Central Florida office. Franklin Street opened its Orlando office in May. She will also remain directly involved with her clients’ lease transactions.
“The office market continues to have strong absorption in the greater Orlando area,” Baker tells GlobeSt.com. “Inventory is extremely tight right now, and we were only seeing incremental increases in rents. However, now landlords are starting to push rates in light of high occupancy.”
Baker has more than 25 years of experience in the local commercial real estate market. While office leasing is her specialty, she also has experience in development, sales, property management, project management, brokerage operations, lending, commercial credit analysis and leadership and training.
“Many companies are in expansion mode, but there are very few big blocks of space available in desirable areas which has prompted some developers to move forward with additional land purchases and planning spec construction,” Baker says. “Most of that is occurring in south Orlando suburbs, and Lake Mary, where demand for office space is the highest.”
Before joining Franklin Street, Baker served for two years as senior director for Cushman & Wakefield. There she oversaw the company’s local agency leasing efforts and expanded the firm’s footprint in Central Florida.
Baker previously served as director of agency leasing for JLL where she played an integral role in business development and client retention. She helped grow JLL’s portfolios in Orlando and Jacksonville from just under 1 million square feet to more than 4.5 million square feet.
Equity Office Properties, Steelbridge Capital, Starwood Capital Group, Invesco Real Estate, Crocker Partners and Parmenter Partners are among her clients.
“Our goal since coming to Orlando has been to attract market leaders in each product type and service line, and Yvonne is a prime example,” says Kurt Keaton, president of real estate and management services at Franklin Street. “Central Florida is projected to remain in the top tier of job growth over the next five years, and not all related to tourism. The region continues to benefit from strong-paying jobs in a diversifying economy and a strong, educated talent pool coming out of the University of Central Florida and other colleges in the area. We think there’s a lot of opportunity for us here, and Yvonne is the perfect person to help us capitalize on it.”
Baker earned her bachelor’s degree in Finance and master’s degree in Real Estate from the University of Central Florida. She has received several industry recognitions including being named a CoStar Power Broker from 2011 to 2014, Orlando Business Journal’s 2014 Women Who Mean Business and NAIOP’s President Award in 2015. She is an active member of NAIOP, serving as a Board Member and Treasurer, Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), where she served as a former President, and the UCF Real Estate Council.
View the original story here: https://www.globest.com/sites/jenniferleclaire/2016/09/28/yvonne-baker-makes-big-career-move/?slreturn=20160828091606