Residential brokerage Blu Realty Group has tapped Vince Rocco, formerly a senior vice president with Halstead Property, to lead the firm’s forthcoming Riverside Boulevard office, Blu announced today. Rocco officially started at the firm yesterday, working out of the existing office at 1674 Broadway, and the new digs will open in about three weeks at 120 Riverside Boulevard, at the corner of 66th Street.
Rocco said he decided to leave Halstead after 10 years because he was presented with “the opportunity of a lifetime” by Blu.
He was familiar with the five principals from his brokerage work in recent years — especially from deals at 505 West 47th Street where he was the listing agent and Blu brought buyers — and “respected their professionalism,” he said, helping pave the way for the move. Not only was he drawn by the chance to manage the brand new office, but Rocco said the boutique nature of the firm and his elevated position allow him to evade the bureaucracy typical of firms of Halstead’s size and adapt more closely to clients’ needs.
As The Real Deal previously reported, the new office will share space with a cafe run by Tavalon Tea. Rocco said he thinks it will help draw more people in the area to the real estate office, the first along Riverside Boulevard, although it will be followed closely by the opening of a Nest Seekers office.
Blu co-founder Alon Chadad said the firm chose to bring Rocco to manage the new office, rather than select among one of the existing principals, because of his experience in the industry and their desire to focus more on the firm’s growth. Rocco said he will have about $19 million of residential sales listings “ready to go” by the end of the month.
The Rocco Group at Blu will include at least five more agents. Beyond Shane Shimon, previously of Halstead, Rocco declined to identify his remaining team members as they haven’t all left their respective firms.