THE dynamic duo of the Gold Coast commercial property market – Mark Witheriff and Tania Moore – this week settled their feet under new desks at Knight Frank.

The pair, both former heads of CBRE Gold Coast, has taken on a new challenge to expand the Knight Frank business after departing from CBRE a month ago.

Moore and Witheriff are joint managing directors of Knight Frank Gold Coast which was formerly overseen by veteran Gold Coast commercial agent John Meyers.

The Knight Frank agency is a corporate office within the Knight Frank group and has had success in retail leasing and management over the past two years under Meyers’ stewardship.

The changes at Knight Frank have seen Meyers depart the firm’s Bundall office, and he is understood to be on a sabbatical.

For Witheriff, the move is a major shift in brand loyalties after serving as CBRE’s Gold Coast boss before handing the reins over to Moore in 2012.

Prior to CBRE, Witheriff spent many years with CBRE’s previous incarnation, Richard Ellis and later CB Richard Ellis, including a stint in Hong Kong in the 1990s.

Moore worked her way up from retail leasing and sales 13 years ago to take the top job at CBRE two years ago.

It is understood that their departure from CBRE was amicable and had included a month-long gardening-leave period.

The real estate veterans will work closely with Knight Frank’s Queensland managing director Grant Whittaker in their new roles which is aimed at lifting Knight Frank’s presence in the Gold Coast market.

Moore and Witheriff bring different skills to Knight Frank with Whittaker noting Moore’s “structured and methodical approach to her campaigns”.

Witheriff is noted for his Asian contacts and his skill in negotiating some of the Gold Coast’s biggest property deals over the past two decades.

Among his successes are the $65 million sale of The Oracle’s retail precinct and the sale of the Waterside towers at Bundall to the city council.

“My expertise is in more complex assets such as finding solutions for buildings such as Waterside and more complex mixed-use developments,” Witheriff tells Gold Coast Business News.

“We’ve both developed teams before and that’s really our strength.

“We have very clear plans about developing a broad-based commercial agency with specialists in core disciplines.”

Moore says they intend to build on Knight Frank’s success in retail leasing and management, which includes a portfolio of signature developments such as Soul and Capri on Via Roma.

“We’re just looking to develop a business again,” Moore says of the challenge ahead.

“We’ll be strengthening the office leasing and sale side of the business and we are looking to grow the team. We’re actively recruiting now.”

Knight Frank has eight staff at its Bundall office with the agency also specialising in residential project marketing.

After a week in the new jobs, Moore and Witheriff are understood to have spent the week taking calls from well-wishers within the industry – particularly from the tight-knit commercial sector on the Gold Coast.

They say they are under no illusions as to the task ahead, although they say the strengthening of a brand such as Knight Frank will be positive for the local real estate market as a whole.

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