Chris Charnas specializes in the brokerage of golf courses, golf resorts and marinas and has been active in the real estate industry for more than 20 years. His experience includes sales, development, financing, feasibility, valuation and consulting on public and private golf courses and closely held marinas. He has substantial experience working on distressed deals and his clients include some of the largest financial institutions in the nation. Chris founded Links Capital Advisors in March of 2008 and added Marina Capital Advisors in June of 2012. Over his career, Chris has closed on real estate transactions in excess of $400 million of aggregate value.
Since starting both Links Capital Advisors and Marina Capital Advisors, Chris has worked with many of the top golf and course and marina lenders including: Capmark Bank, Textron and Pacific Life. Chris has brokered the sale of the prestigious Valencia Country Club, site of the 1998 Nissan Open, and Kemper Lakes Golf Course, home of the 1989 PGA Championship. The Kemper Lakes Golf Course transaction represented the largest sales price of any exclusively listed golf course in the United States in 2002. In March 2008, 2012 and again in 2015 Golf Inc. magazine recognized Chris as one of the top golf course brokers in the golf business.
Chris’ career in the golf business began with Crown Golf Properties, where he was a director in the acquisitions and development department. During his tenure with Crown Golf, the company increased the size of its golf course portfolio from 17 to 23 golf courses. Chris was a key team member in the development of River Valley Ranch Golf Club in Carbondale, Colorado and South Mountain Golf Club in Draper, Utah. Previous to his work with Crown Golf, Chris was a commercial real estate broker for Cushman & Wakefield of Illinois, where he started and was a director of the company’s Golf Group in September 2000.
Chris graduated with honors from Tufts University with a BA in history. He has an MS in Real Estate Appraisal and Investment Theory from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute, the National Golf Foundation, the Chicago District Golf Association and a supporter of the Western Golf Association. Chris has spoken at various conferences about golf course investment and development. In addition, he has given expert testimony numerous times on behalf of clients involved in golf course litigation.
An avid golfer, Chris began his career in the golf industry at the age of 12 as a caddy for the local private club. He is a past president of The Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Association – Chicago Chapter. He previously served on the Board of Trustees for the North Shore Country Day School where he was President of the Alumni Association. For more than 20 years, he has been an active volunteer at the Chicago History Museum. Chris also is a supporter and volunteer for St. Baldrick’s, the National Childhood Cancer Foundation’s charitable event.
Chris is married with two children and lives in suburbs of Chicago.
Chris is a licensed Managing Real Estate Broker in Illinois.