The Real Deal New York

Compass turns to the Hamptons, where rivals roam

Firm to take over Corcoran Group’s old digs in Bridgehampton

September 04, 2015 01:00PM
By E.B. Solomont

Robert Reffkin

Robert Reffkin

After poaching agents from the Corcoran Group in Manhattan and Brooklyn, Compass is now planting a flag at the rival firm’s old digs in the Hamptons.

The startup firm, which is backed by more than $73 million in venture capital, inked a deal to take over Corcoran’s space at 2405 Main Street in Bridgehampton, The Real Deal has learned. Sources close to the company said Compass expects the office to open by the end of the month.

The free-standing building, on a stretch of Main Street that’s also home to firms including Douglas Elliman, Brown Harris Stevens and others, measures 3,600 square feet and recently had a 1,400-square-foot retail space available, according to LoopNet, which did not list the asking price for the space. It’s not clear if they’re taking the entire space or simply the retail portion.

Corcoran, which has two offices in Bridgehampton, moved out of the space and into a new office at 2411 Main Street in June.

Compass had been vigorously searching for a foothold in the Hamptons in recent months. In April, rumors swirled that the firm was in talks to buy Saunders & Associates, one of the largest independent brokerages on the East End. Founder Andrew Saunders adamantly denied his firm was for sale, but told TRD that a representative from Compass called him to ask questions about how the local multiple listings system worked.

Like New York City, Hamptons prices have been rising and the average sales price was $1.6 million during the second quarter, up 2.5 percent from a year earlier, according to the most recent market report published by Douglas Elliman and appraisal firm Miller Samuel.

It’s unclear who will lead – or staff – Compass’ new office, but the firm has aggressively recruited top talent from rival firms in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Earlier this year, Corcoran sued Compass for “brazenly” raiding its talent pool, but the firms settled their dispute earlier this month. According to the jobs page on its website, Compass is looking to hire everyone from a “city launcher” to receptionist for its Hamptons office.

A combination of major firms and independent brokerages dominate residential sales in the Hamptons, with Corcoran taking the No. 1 spot in TRD’s ranking of top firms in June.

At that time, Corcoran had 335 agents and $2.43 billion worth of listings, followed by Elliman with 396 agents and $2.24 billion in listings. Rounding out the top five were Sotheby’s International Realty (113 agents, $2.19 billion in listings), Saunders & Associates (166 agents, $1.30 billion in listings) and Brown Harris Stevens (131 agents, $943 million in listings).

Earlier this month, Compass inked a deal to open a second office in Brooklyn. Following Compass’ acquisition last year of Lindsay Reishman Real Estate in Washington, D.C., the company has been eyeing other markets. On its website, Compass is currently advertising jobs to lead new offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle.