CBRE has hired five seasoned leasing experts to expand its mall business at a time when the industry is poised for transformation.

Joining CBRE is a team of four West Coast leasing specialists led by Cynthia Murphy, who as senior vice president of leasing and retail services, will oversee the company’s mall leasing efforts nationwide, while leading strategy development and execution for select clients and their properties. Her team includes three vice presidents of leasing and retail services, including David Sorenson, who is based in Newport Beach, Calif.; John Stevens in Sacramento, Calif., and Blake Bishop in Portland, Ore.

Separately, William Morris, a 36-year veteran of all portfolio leasing, has joined CBRE’s mall business as an expert in outlet centers and lender-controlled malls. His résumé includes stints at Woodmont Co., Insignia/ESG, Intershop U.S. Realties, Kravco Co. and Paramount Group Inc.

All five report to Mark Hunter, a 30-year mall industry executive, who joined CBRE in January to build and lead its mall business.

CBRE said it’s expanding its mall platform at an inflection point for the U.S. shopping center industry.

The mall industry is poised to undergo a dramatic evolution as hundreds of potential North American malls and other large-format shopping centers will need third-party management and leasing expertise in the coming years after they change hands, either through foreclosure or divestiture by real estate investment trusts.

“New owners of traded malls need the expertise that a company of the scope of CBRE can provide in adaptive reuse, repositioning, redeveloping, re-tenanting and, ultimately, disposition of the improved properties,” said Scott Weaver, CBRE’s senior managing director of retail asset services, the Americas. “Bringing aboard these five mall experts immeasurably enhances CBRE’s deep resources for serving this dynamic and complex industry.”

“The U.S. mall industry faces unique challenges and opportunities in the years ahead,” said Todd Caruso, CBRE senior managing director of retail advisory and transaction services, the Americas. “Guiding these properties to their full potential is complicated, delicate work that requires a deep knowledge of the industry and the retailers who operate within it. There simply is no substitute for the experience and vision that these five professionals bring to CBRE’s rapidly growing mall business.”

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