The Kern Company has over 30 years of experience in the brokerage, acquisition, entitlement, and
disposition of commercial land with business locations in Coral Gables, New Smyrna Beach, and Jacksonville, FL. We have obtained entitlements for investments ranging from single use vacant land to large mixed-use Developments of Regional Impact and Regional Activity Centers. Our experience is extensive on the east coast of Florida, as well as counties such as Osceola, Hillsborough, Marion, and Orange County.
Since 1997 we have partnered with various investors to acquire over 45 properties with investments totaling over $165 million. To date, 30 of those investments have been sold generating an IRR in excess of 43%. The Kern Company has brokered individual transactions in excess of $150 million.
Meet Our Team
James W. Kern: Owner/Broker
James W. Kern took over The Kern Company in South Florida in 1996 and has over 30 years of experience in the commercial real estate business specializing in commercial investment and brokerage. Jim has developed a significant investment business as a principal. Since 1997, he has partnered with various investors to acquire 50+ properties for a total of over $150 million. The company’s primary focus has been on distressed and opportunistic purchases during the past recession and present recovery of the Florida market. In addition, Jim remains active in the brokerage business, where his focus has been on development properties.
Jim believes that one of the keys to his success has been giving back to the community that has served him so well. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Miami International Seminary and Encounters in Excellence. Jim has also been active with Big City Mountaineers, an organization founded by the Kern Family for which Jim served on the board for over a decade.
Jim is an Eagle Scout and was raised with a great love for the outdoors. As an avid hunter and angler, Jim holds wildlife preservation dear to his heart. He also holds an active Florida Real Estate Broker license and graduated from The Florida State University with honors.
Jim is a native to Miami, FL where he currently resides.
Melissa Henry, Project Manager
Melissa has over 12 years of experience in construction, site development and project management. She continues to serve as a project manager for The Kern Company and manages over 100 million dollars in commercial land projects at various stages of seeking and maintaining entitlements. Melissa manages all aspects of the entitlements including environmental, land use, zoning, concurrency (traffic, water, sewer, school), and development agreement approvals with local municipalities as well as DRI modifications with state and local agencies. Melissa manages all of the project related professionals including zoning and land use attorneys, project planners, engineers, architects, and environmental experts among others. She also drafts investor relations, manages project finances including budgeting, calls for additional capital, and maintenance of vendor proposals and their related invoices.
Prior to joining The Kern Company, Melissa broke into the real estate industry with a commercial construction company. Prior to joining the real estate industry, Melissa worked for over 10 years as a project manager in technology consulting. During that time she worked for Accenture, formerly Andersen Consulting, managing large process redesign and technology implementation projects for companies in multiple industries.
Nicole Arza, Special Projects
Mrs. Arza works on special projects for The Kern Company. She has 12 years of professional experience in real estate finance, including accounting, financial reporting, investor relations, investment analysis and risk management, contract review and project management.
Nicole joined The Kern Company in 2007 as a Project Manager where she managed over 100 million dollars in commercial land projects at various stages of seeking and maintaining entitlements. Nicole managed all aspects of the entitlements including environmental, land use, zoning, concurrency and development agreement approvals with local municipalities as well as DRI modifications with state and local agencies. She managed all of the project related professionals including zoning and land use attorneys, project planners, engineers, architects, and environmental experts among others.
Nicole entered real estate industry as the owner of a Mortgage Brokerage company focused on residential and commercial mortgage loan origination.
Prior to joining the real estate industry, Nicole worked for nearly a decade as a project manager in business and technology consulting. During that time, she worked for Accenture, formerly Andersen Consulting, managing process redesign and technology implementation projects for companies in multiple industries.
Sarah Kern, Assistant Project Manager & Marketing
Ms. Kern is an assistant project manager for the Kern Company. Sarah interned with the Kern Company for several summers while in college. She has a hard-working spirit and a superior work ethic.
Sarah graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Editing, Writing, and Media and a minor in business in May 2019 and began working with the Kern Company in August 2019.