Town Residential, the brokerage firm that made a splash by rolling out a string of flashy retail storefronts over the last few years, is taking a decidedly more understated approach to its expansion into Brooklyn and Queens.
In lieu of signing pricey lease deals for new storefront locations, the company will tap the kegs at three flexible new office spaces managed by WeWork, company CEO Andrew Heiberger told The Real Deal. The new locations will be in Brooklyn Heights, Williamsburg and Astoria.
The move into shared WeWork spaces represents Town’s goal to limit its liabilities while still expanding its geographic footprint. Over the past few years, Town’s aggressive spending practices, which included glitzy parties, state-of-the-art offices and the recruitment of top talent, drove speculation that the company was overspending.
Heiberger told TRD that the new locations would serve as a beta test for a potential major roll-out in the boroughs. It will also enable the company to scale up or down quickly depending on the success of the individual offices.
“We contemplated this expansion through the opening of conventional storefronts or the acquisition of local boutique firms but the significant start-up costs as well as capital, maintenance and facilities savings made this the wisest decision,” he said.
The three locations, set to open January 2017, will be located at 195 Montague Street, 240 Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn, and 3537 36th Street in Astoria. Each of the new locations will accommodate up to 20 agents and a sales manager.
While they will be the company’s first bricks-and-mortar location outside Manhattan (where the company have seven locations, including its flagship at 110 Fifth Avenue), Town has already done significant business in Brooklyn.
Heiberger said the company has done $930 million in Brooklyn transactions since the company’s founding in 2010. Last year, the firm was tapped to lead marketing efforts at 172 Montague, a new development rental high rise in Brooklyn Heights.
The expansion into the outerboroughs follows the July announcement that Heiberger purchased his ex-partner Joseph Sitt’s 50 percent ownership stake in the company for an undisclosed price.