Arden Karson leaves Related to join CBRE as senior managing director

Karson oversaw development, acquisitions, distressed debt and strategic opportunities at Related

Jan.January 12, 2017 01:30 PM

After about five years at the Related Group, Arden Karson joined CBRE as senior managing director in South Florida, the brokerage announced on Thursday.

At CBRE, Karson will oversee the firm’s three South Florida offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton and its 200 employees, according to the announcement. Karson will work out of CBRE’s Miami office and report to the firm’s southeast division president John Ferguson. “My goal is to expand the office and grow the platform,” Karson told The Real Deal. 

As senior vice president at Related, Karson led sales and development of the company’s $1 billion worth of mixed-use properties, and oversaw the acquisitions, distressed debt and strategic opportunities division. She previously worked as a lender with Bank of America, as a consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers, and as senior vice president of Advenir Real Estate, LNR, Barrow Street Capital and Lennar.

Karson is also still on the board of directors for Friends of the Underline, the nonprofit behind the 10-mile linear park and trail planned for Miami-Dade.

She’s leaving Related at a time in the real estate cycle when the developer has completed significant projects and has a handful of projects planned for delivery in 2017 – and amid a slowdown in condo sales, during which Related has shifted its focus to multifamily, mixed-use and other asset classes.

But Karson said she didn’t time her move with the real estate cycle. “I didn’t leave Related because they’re not doing a lot of projects in the future, because, frankly, I wasn’t even hired to do development,” she said, adding that she only took on development because Related “rebounded so quickly” during the last downturn.

And her position at CBRE is new. After Mary Jo Eaton was promoted from president of Florida and Latin America to Global President of Asset Services and Valuation & Advisory Services, CBRE restructured to focus more on local markets like South Florida.

“I think that at this point in my career, this is a great place for me to be,” Karson told TRD. “If you look at my resume, I really just have a very diverse background and I’ve worked on assets in all classes, office, residential, land, leasing … And I’m from south florida. I’ve worked in all three counties. It’s sort of the perfect fit.”

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