Chris Charnas

CHICAGO—Links Capital Advisors, Inc., a real estate firm based in suburban Evanston, specializes in golf course sales and acquisitions, and its founders feel it’s time to bring a similarly sophisticated sales and business approach to the 12,000 marinas and related facilities in the US. Chris Charnas, the founder and principal of Links, has teamed with Cy Oelerich, a real estate professional formerly with Insignia, to launch the new firm, called Marina Capital Advisors, LLC and also based in Evanston.

“The business of marinas is fragmented and immature – similar to where the golf course industry was thirty years ago,” says Charnas. “Large companies seeking large, profitable deals on the coasts are abundant but there are few companies or mid-sized organizations exploring inland marina operations.”

MCA will focus on the acquisition, disposition and management of marinas, recreational ports, coastal harbors, boatyards, yacht clubs and waterway resorts throughout the US, a largely untapped market, Charnas adds, and will support all facets of marina brokerage.

In addition, MCA plans to team marina owners with experienced management companies to improve marina operations. MCA will also provide valuation, market analysis and consultative services to marina owners and lenders.

“While there are a number of individuals who sell marinas, we see an opportunity for a boutique brokerage firm to focus on the marina industry, raise the bar for brokerage and grab a significant share of ongoing transactions,” says Oelerich.

Since its 2008 inception, Links has brokered over $100 million worth of transactions.