KRE Capital LLC
A partner at KRE Capital LLC, a private equity firm in Beverly Hills, CA since March 2014, Uri Vaknin oversees the firm’s largest investment – five condo properties comprised of 1,300 units in Las Vegas, Nev. valued at more than $450M and purchased in partnership with Dune Real Estate Partners and Northcap. For the portfolio, which, today includes The Ogden and Juhl in Downtown Las Vegas and One Las Vegas on South Las Vegas Blvd., Vaknin assumes full management. This includes sales, marketing, advertising, PR, social media, leasing operations, design of common spaces, landscaping, furnished models, construction of common spaces, unit upgrades, and lender and investor relations.
During the recession, the condo communities in the portfolio reverted to a rental strategy. Under Vaknin’s oversight and expertise as a turn-around specialist, he reimagined the properties, secured critical financing options for homebuyers, and today, condo sales within the portfolio have grown exponentially with one property selling out and another ranked as the fastest-selling condo community in 2018.
A resident of Las Vegas since 2014, Vaknin has forged important relationships with key influencers in the city and has become a respected voice for development, the arts and Downtown Las Vegas. He recently joined the Board of Directors for the Downtown Vegas Alliance and currently serves as its vice-chair. For downtown, Vaknin worked with the city of Las Vegas to create an annual seminar, fair and panel discussion called “Livin’ in the City.” The event, which just completed its third year, promotes the downtown lifestyle and urban living.
Vaknin, who first made his mark in real estate while in Atlanta, was SVP of The Marketing Directors, a national residential real estate sales and marketing company. Prior to that, he was the #1 sales agent at Coldwell Banker/The Condo Store, also in Atlanta.
Prior to entering the world of real estate, Vaknin co-founded Vaknin Schwartz, an internationally acclaimed fine art gallery representing and promoting celebrated local, national and international artists in Atlanta, Georgia. The gallery was featured in numerous publications including Vanity Fair, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue Homme and Art in America. Vaknin’s client list was a who’s who of celebrities, corporations and collectors. He sat on several boards, including the Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center. He also served as the appointed committee chair of the Public Arts Advisory Committee which reported to the Mayor of Atlanta. Vaknin worked on the successful capital campaign of The Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center and was a contributing writer to Uptown Magazine on art, culture and architecture.
In Las Vegas, Vaknin served on the board of The Art Museum at Symphony Park – a world-class art museum planned for Downtown Las Vegas. He now continues his association with the Museum, which recently joined forces with the Nevada Museum of Art (NMA), the state’s oldest cultural institution, serving as a trustee. Vaknin’s leadership helped secure a significant parcel of land from the city of Las Vegas next to The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in the burgeoning downtown master-planned development called Symphony Park, the city’s true cultural center.
In addition to his involvement in the arts, Vaknin sat on the board of the Anti-Defamation League where he received the Daniel R. Ginsberg National Leadership Award in 2003. He currently serves as Treasurer on the Executive Committee of The Names Project – The AIDS Memorial Quilt.
While Vaknin’s passion for real estate and the arts is paramount, he is also an avid traveler. In 2007, he summited Mount Kilimanjaro and spent time with the Maasai. He is fascinated with the cities of Tel Aviv and Havana and has become a near expert on those cities and their architecture. Vaknin has studied Hebrew, French, and Russian; he is fluent in German and is currently studying Spanish. In 1986 and 1989, Vaknin spent two summers living in what was then the Soviet Union where he was responsible for setting up the sister-city relationship between Atlanta, Georgia and Tbilisi, Georgia.