The Real Deal New York

Sotheby’s acquires Fenwick Keats, 77 agents

Move for boutique firm will increase presence in luxury market

November 10, 2015 01:41PM
By Katherine Clarke

Diane Levine Rob Anzalone Jeff Wolk

From left: Diane Levine, Jeff Wolk and Rob Anzalone

Sotheby’s International Realty acquired boutique real estate firm Fenwick Keats in a move that it hopes will advance its high-end business in Manhattan, the company announced Tuesday.

The deal will boost Sotheby’s New York City ranks by 77 agents and represent an infusion of ultra-luxury listings for the firm, including a $26 million Greenwich Village townhouse, at 47 West 9th Street, and a $16 million property at 211 E. 62nd Street.

Sotheby’s will also take over Fenwick Keats’ retail office, at 2444 Broadway.

Diane Levine of Sotheby’s will head that office, while Fenwick co-founders Rob Anzalone and Jeff Wolk will become associate brokers at Sotheby’s. The purchase price for the firm’s assets was not clear.

“Fenwick Keats Real Estate has long been respected in Manhattan as a boutique real estate brokerage firm, and it will be an ideal fit in our organization,” said Kathryn Korte, president and CEO of Sotheby’s, in a statement. “We are excited to provide access to new marketing platforms to help expose their listings to the world through the Sotheby’s International Realty network.”

Korte said Sotheby’s, a primarily franchise company owned by real estate giant NRT, had long craved a presence on the west side. It considered the purchase of several boutique firms over the past few years but none had turned out to be the perfect fit.

“New York continues to be one of our most important markets but we never want to expand just for the sake of it,” she said. “We wanted to wait for something that made sense.”

The move to scoop up Fenwick comes just weeks after it was revealed that another NRT-owned company, Citi Habitats, would acquire Brooklyn new development company AptsandLofts.com.

“It looks like NRT is back in acquisition mode after a long period of focusing on franchising,” said luxury broker and market watcher Donna Olshan, who did not have direct knowledge of the deal. “It’s certainly the quickest and easiest way to get into a different part of town.”

Fenwick Keats was founded in 1989. Its property management arm, Fenwick Keats Management, is not part of the acquisition and will continue to operate independently.

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