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Amusement Park Developer Turned Realtor Leading Nation’s Largest Realtor Association

by | May 06, 2016


By Chris Umpierre/

MIAMI Staff

Holocaust survivors who escaped Nazi occupation, Mark Sadek’s parents came to this country with the same goals as other immigrants. They sought the American Dream of homeownership.

The Sadeks thought they would raise their children and retire in Brooklyn, N.Y., but blight, crime and decay overtook the neighborhood. The family had no choice but to move.

“After seeing their own homes taken as kids, my parents felt very upset they had to leave Brooklyn,” Sadek remembered. “They thought it would be their forever home.”

The experience left an indelible mark on a young Mark Sadek. His professional career — first in the amusement park business and now in real estate — has had a theme of looking out for neglected areas. As a developer of four Northeast amusement parks and now as a district sales manager at Keyes Company’s Coral Springs branch, Sadek has volunteered to boost spurned areas.

Sadek, who became a Realtor in 2004 after more than a decade creating and managing amusement parks, joined the Broward Council of the MIAMI Association of REALTORS® (MIAMI) because he wanted to volunteer to make a difference in his community. 

“When I moved to South Florida, I was overwhelmed by its beauty,” said Sadek, the 2016 MIAMI Chairman of the Board. “But when I got into real estate, I started seeing areas in need of redevelopment. It can take up to 30, 40 years to see an area rebound. With the large demand for property in South Florida, let’s reinvent these areas and get them to be booming again.”

Reviving Communities

Reviving neglected communities isn’t a singular job. Reinvesting in local schools, businesses and cultural institutions must come first before a dilapidated community turns vibrant.

Sadek points to the City of Coral Springs, now in its 51st year of incorporation. Once a booming Broward County town, Coral Springs was in need of redevelopment after the Great Recession.

In recent years, the city has gained cultural institutions. In addition to the Coral Springs Museum of Art, which serves Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties, Coral Springs recently opened its downtown ArtWalk. The ArtWalk’s entryway features a 13-foot-tall infinity glass sculpture.

“Coral Springs is beginning to be a place for people to enjoy culture and sculptures,” Sadek said. “We want people to believe again in what makes Coral Springs an amazing city.”

Amusement Park Business

Sadek had a similar drive as an amusement park developer. In searching for locations for his indoor parks, he chose neglected areas and regions that lacked affordable fun for families. Sadek designed and created four indoor amusement parks.

Each 40,000-square-foot facility employed more than 100 people. He had locations in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland. He catered each facility to the demographics of the area. For instance, his Union, N.J., facility had a sports theme because the population boasted big sports fans. The park had an indoor batting cage, mini-golf and a non-alcoholic sports bar.

“We had the support of the local government because we were taking these buildings that had been sitting vacant for years,” Sadek said. “They were hard to lease, abandoned buildings. We converted them to vibrant family-fun centers.”

Sadek’s parks often had kid-oriented events. Under Project Graduation, high school-aged kids received an all-night celebration at the amusement park as long as they maintained their grades and stayed drug free. Sadek’s parks, which won awards from local city governments, became popular for school trips and summer camps.

Relocating to Florida, Changing Careers

Real estate had always been Sadek’s dream. With the support of his family, Sadek changed careers in 2004. Within a few short months after joining The Keyes Company in Weston, Sadek was named a designated certified field trainer of new associates.

Sadek was the first trainer in Keyes history to earn the title of master field trainer, having successfully graduated more new people to higher sales than anyone else. Sadek is currently district sales manager of the Keyes Coral Springs branch, which includes the support of top-selling Keyes associate Marta Dupree and her team as well as more than 120 associates.

“Mark is a leader of leaders,” Keyes CEO Mike Pappas said in an interview with MIAMI.

Pappas points to Sadek’s leadership in designing and building Keyes’ Coral Springs branch in 2012. The office’s modern design was the first of its kind for Keyes, the largest independent, family-owned company in the region.

“Mark had a vision for that office and made it happen even after coming out of the Great Recession,” Pappas said. “He was the forerunner coming out of the storm with a new, modern-looking office. Looking back on it, we’ve used Mark’s protocol for all of our new offices since.”

Keyes’ Coral Springs branch boasts lower desks and open spaces. Pappas compared it to the open design of Starbucks.

Energetic Leader

Sadek brings his energetic personality to work every day.

“Mark is a passionate, caring leader that will go above and beyond the call of duty,” Pappas said. “And he has a lot of fun and spirit while doing it. I think you see that.”

As the leader of the largest local Realtor association in the United States, Sadek is honored to be the 2016 MIAMI Chairman. The 2016 MIAMI Corporate Board is in charge of leading, guiding and overseeing the booming South Florida real estate market.

“With the expansion of the port, the growth of the airport and the redevelopment of cities, there is no doubt Broward County is going to continue to grow,” Sadek said. “We’re now seeing empty-nesters choosing to stay in Broward because of their love for Broward.”

SADEK BIO

Name: Mark Sadek

Board position: 2016 Chairman of the Board of the MIAMI Association of REALTORS®

Employment: The Keyes Company, Inc.

Achievements: Sadek was the first trainer in Keyes history to earn the title of master field trainer, having successfully graduated more new people to higher sales than anyone else. Sadek served as the 2014 president of the Broward Council of the MIAMI Association of REALTORS®. Sadek initiated the first Broward Young Professionals Network, which has grown to more than 200 members.

Family: Sadek has been married to his wife, Suzanne, for 25 years. The couple has two children: Rebecca, a recent college graduate of Central Florida, and Evan, a student at Dan Marino College for Special Needs Adults.

Did you know? Sadek’s professional career began more than 20 years ago in the development of large indoor amusement centers in the Northeast.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

Getting to Know MIAMI Leaders highlights the 2016 presidents and chairmen of the MIAMI Association of REALTORS®. The leaders are: Chairman of the Board Mark Sadek, Residential President Carlos Gutierrez, Commercial President Maria G. Juncadella, Broward President Donna Reid, Young Professionals Network Chairman Jorge Guerra Jr. and JTHS President Susan Gaieski.

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