Newmark Grubb Knight Frank (NGKF) Retail is pleased to announce the addition of Jennifer Watson as senior managing director. A nationally renowned franchise specialist in the real estate industry, Ms. Watson joins NGKF’s Chicago office and will work with the national retail group to continue serving such dominant franchise clients such as Dunkin’ and Burger King, among others. She brings extensive experience in spearheading the strategic rollout and expansion of company-owned and franchise retail outlets in hundreds of U.S. markets.
“Jennifer understands the business perspective of franchisors and franchisees and how their real estate needs often vary greatly from corporate-owned outlets and from each other,” said Gregory Kirsch, executive managing director in the Retail group. “She will ensure our clients receive the full value of the investments we’ve made over the past several years. This is an exciting value proposition for our proprietary Franchise Focus platform, one that differentiates us in the marketplace.”
NGKF’s Franchise Focus was developed in response to the dramatic growth of franchise businesses across the country. The industry’s gross domestic product is forecasted to increase 4 percent this year over the $454 billion achieved in 2012.
NGKF’s program offers both franchisors and franchisees a comprehensive package of tools to inform and support their real estate decision-making, a critical component of operating a new business. The products and methodologies offered by NGKF Retail can support a multi-market rollout, or a single owner.
“The franchise sector is hot and it is expected to outperform the overall economy through 2014,” said Neal Golden, vice chairman. “There is unlimited domestic and global potential. Today’s favorable franchising environment means that now, more than ever, existing clients and new retail concepts require turnkey services that also allow for flexibility and customization, which our Franchise Focus platform provides seamlessly.”
Mr. Golden noted the turnkey program provides access to such cutting-edge technologies as advanced geo mapping and GIS, to sophisticated customer analysis using products like Bay Sensors and Location IQ, and to dynamic marketing delivered through GoldRun and Branded Cities.
“I’m thrilled to join a platform that understands how retail real estate should not be a one-size-fits-all approach, but instead is specifically designed to serve this unique market,” said Mrs. Watson. “The opportunities today in the franchising industry are expanding rapidly and I’m excited to be part of a company that is in front of that growth.”
Ms. Watson brings 15 years of real estate experience to NGKF. Most recently, she served as vice president of National Real Estate Solutions at Baum Realty Group, where she developed and implemented site selection and advisory services for a number of clients across a wide range of industries seeking to increase their national footprint.
She currently serves as co-chair for the Women’s Franchise Network Chicago chapter. She is also a member of the Franchise Business Network, the International Franchise Association, the International Council of Shopping Centers, and the Chicago Women’s Business Network. She has contributed to a number of industry publications, including Franchise Times, Franchise World and Shopping Centers Today.
Earlier in her career, Ms. Watson was a sales manager for Pulte Homes Corp., where she developed and managed master-planned communities. She was one of the company’s top producers with more than $100 million in sales.
Ms. Watson earned a B.A in finance with a minor in mathematics from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
About Newmark Grubb Knight Frank
Newmark Grubb Knight Frank (NGKF) is one of the world’s leading commercial real estate advisory firms. Together with its affiliates and London-based partner Knight Frank, NGKF employs more than 11,000 professionals, operating from more than 340 offices in established and emerging property markets on five continents.
With roots dating back to 1929, NGKF’s strong foundation makes it one of the most trusted names in commercial real estate. Its integrated services platform includes leasing advisory, global corporate services, investment sales and capital markets, consulting, program and project management, property and facilities management, and valuation services. A major force in the real estate marketplace, NGKF serves the local and global property requirements of tenants, landlords, investors and developers worldwide. For further information, visit www.ngkf.com.
NGKF is a part of BGC Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ: BGCP), a leading global brokerage company primarily servicing the wholesale financial and real estate markets. For further information, visit www.bgcpartners.com.