Seven-year itch? Drew Schaul leaves RKF to return to CBRE

Schaul worked at CBRE from 2005 to 2011 when he left to open RKF’s Miami office

Drew Schaul
Drew Schaul

Retail broker Drew Schaul just left RKF for CBRE, where he will focus on landlord and tenant representation and investment sales, The Real Deal has learned.

Schaul worked at CBRE from 2005 until 2011, when he left to open RKF’s Miami office. He’s returning to CBRE as senior vice president at a time when RKF is reportedly in advanced talks to sell to Newmark Knight Frank.

But Schaul said that deal did not factor into his decision. “Some people get that seven-year itch sometimes,” he said.

At a time of retail turmoil, he said he found CBRE appealing because of its size, advanced technology, research capabilities and global reach. “The bigger the platform and the more diverse the platform, the more set up you are to get lucky and win business and execute business,” he said.

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Both Schaul and Arden Karson, senior managing director of CBRE South Florida, said it is too early to know whether Schaul’s clients from RKF will follow him. Among the clients he will represent are Hard Rock International and the Cordish Companies, to lease about 35,000 square feet of space with 12 to 15 retail tenants at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The resort is undergoing a $1.5 billion renovation and expansion.

Schaul previously led a team at RKF that completed more than $430 million in investment sales in 2015 and 2016 in Miami’s Wynwood and Design District, representing Redsky Capital, L3 Capital, Tristar Capital and RFR.

He was also involved in two major Miami Beach deals: the $132 million sale of 1100 Lincoln Road in 2013 to Vornado Realty Trust and the $139 million sale in 2012 of TriStar Capital’s retail portfolio on Lincoln Road to Acadia Realty Trust. He also secured leases for John Varvatos and Zadig & Voltaire on Lincoln Road, Oliver Peoples in the Design District, and for Shake Shack in Mary Brickell Village.

Despite the national retail downturn, Schaul said he sees the South Florida market as poised for an upswing. “We have had a couple of years of natural disasters, political disasters, and we are starting to bottom out and are beginning to evolve,” he said. Retailers are starting to grow again, accepting that they have to change the customer experience and boost social media. And landlords are understanding that they may not immediately get the rents they expected when they bought a property, he added.