Franklin Street Hires CRE Trailblazer To Lead Orlando Office

Yvonne BakerHeavyweight commercial real estate professional and agency leasing executive, Yvonne Baker,  has joined Franklin Street as Regional Managing Partner of Orlando. In her new role, she will be responsible for growing the company’s Central Florida office which opened this past May.  She will also remain directly involved with her clients’ lease transactions. Baker has more than 25 years of experience in the local commercial real estate market. Her specialty is office leasing, but she also has experience in development, sales, property management, project management, brokerage operations, lending, commercial credit analysis and leadership/training. Prior to Franklin Street, Baker served for two years as senior director for Cushman & Wakefield.  In that position, she oversaw the company’s local agency leasing efforts in addition to expanding the firm’s footprint in Central Florida. Prior to Cushman & Wakefield, Baker was 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. Some of the clients Baker has worked with in the past include institutional and regional players such as Equity Office Properties, Steelbridge Capital, Starwood Capital Group, Invesco Real Estate, Crocker Partners and Parmenter Partners.  

“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,” said Kurt Keaton, president of real estate and management services at Franklin Street. “Besides being a top leasing agent, Yvonne is a perfect fit for our collaborative culture.  She has a sterling reputation for integrity, honesty and solid client relationships. We are confident she will take what we started in Orlando to the next level and beyond.”


“Joining Franklin Street is an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” Baker said. “The company is set up to service clients in ways I’ve never seen at other commercial real estate companies. They offer sales and leasing for all product lines including office, retail, industrial and multifamily but also have an insurance, financing, management and valuation component.  Franklin Street is a fresh face in a crowded field and I look forward to helping the firm become a market leader in Central Florida.”

In the short time Franklin Street has been established in Orlando, it has recruited nearly a dozen employees and landed more than a million square feet of third-party management assignments. Keaton said Franklin Street is bullish on the Orlando market.  

“Central Florida is projected to remain in the top tier of job growth over the next five years, and not all related to tourism,” Keaton said. “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.


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