MIAMI—After a 19-year run at Cushman & Wakefield, industrial real estate rock star Sky Groden is leaving the firm to join Cresa South Florida as principal of Industrial Advisory Services. Groden served as an executive director at CushWake.
Groden has been active in the South Florida industrial leasing and sales market for nearly two decades and has been involved in industrial transactions totaling 15 million square feet collectively worth more than $1 billion in sales volume.
“Adding top talent like Sky to the Cresa team will help us build on our success as we strategically expand in South Florida,” Cresa Managing principal John Marshall tells GlobeSt.com. “With Sky’s leadership, we are equipped to bring our tenant advisory focus to the industrial market and help tenant occupiers drive ROI from their commercial real estate decisions. Our approach will disrupt the local industrial market, which has historically been marred with conflicts of interest.”
Groden is the latest example of respected industry talent to join the firm’s partnership ranks. Groden has established relationships with the brokerage, ownership, and investor community and brings vast market knowledge of South Florida industrial properties, land sales and development. He has represented the likes of Aptar Group, BSN, Prologis, Duke Realty Corp., EastGroup, GA Telesis, KTR Capital Partners, Panera Bread, Principal, RREEF, and Vital Pharmaceuticals.
“Although I’ve focused on representing public REITs for much of my career, I’ve forged strong relationships with tenant occupiers in recent years,” Groden tells GlobeSt.com. “The industrial business is moving toward ownership relying more on in-house representation—and there is tremendous need for strategic advisory services on the tenant side. With our tenant-only focus and consultative approach, Cresa is evolving with the industrial sector and bringing much-needed knowledge to an underserved market.”
During his nearly two decades at CushWake, Groden was a consistent top producer in the Broward and Palm Beach markets. He and his partners received the 2006 & 2007 NAIOP South Florida Industrial Brokerage Team of the Year. In 2004, Groden received his SIOR (Society of Industrial and Office Realtors) designation, a professional symbol of the highest level of knowledge, production, and ethics in the real estate industry.
Groden comes to Cresa at a time when the firm is focused strategically and nationally on building its industrial practice. Cresa South Florida completed the largest industrial deal in Miami-Dade County in 2013, leasing 220,000 of industrial space to Starboard Cruise Services. With more activity expected in South Florida ports, Groden comes to Cresa expecting new opportunities to help tenants make strategic industrial real estate decisions.
The addition of Groden comes on the heels of Jim Winter joining Cresa as director of Industrial Services. Winter was formerly Global Manager of Corporate Real Estate at Alcoa in Pittsburgh and the marquee hire was in line with Cresa’s history. The company was founded by corporate real estate executives who understand the unique needs of tenants.
“Cresa’s strategic focus on a national level is growing our industrial practice,” Winter, who is also Chairman of the Industrial Asset Management Council, tells GlobeSt.com. “There are conflicts of interest in the industrial market, where brokerages serving asset owners often help tenants find space in those same properties—but have the landlord’s best interest in mind. Cresa is determined to help tenants not only find space but find space that meets their unique needs today and in the future—at the right cost. Sky will play a major role in disrupting industrial tenant representation in South Florida.”
Groden will also join Cresa’s Industrial Advisory Sector. He was named to the South Florida Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 in 2011; named a Daily Business Review Heavy Hitter in Commercial Real Estate in 2010 and 2011; and designated a Real Estate Forum Tomorrow’s Newsmakers in 2008, among other industry accolades. He is involved in Kids in Distress, Quantum House, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Salvation Army.