The Real Deal New York

Two top celebrity brokers join Elliman

Independent broker Michael Bolla and Brown Harris Stevens' Dennis Mangone on board after recent departures by two top Elliman teams

February 24, 2011 07:20PM


From left: Dennis Mangone and Michael Bolla

By Sarabeth Sanders and Amy Tennery

Michael Bolla and Dennis Mangone — both larger-than-life types with rosters of high-profile clients to match — have joined the city’s largest residential brokerage, bringing in some celebrity cachet after the recent departure of a certain pair of Israelis.

Those are, of course, former managing directors Ilan Bracha and Tamir Shemesh, who until recently had sat at the helms of Prudential Douglas Elliman’s first- and fifth-ranked teams. Bracha left at the start of the year to launch the first Manhattan franchise of Keller Williams, while Shemesh followed a few weeks later to join the Corcoran Group.

Shemesh told The Real Deal at the time that the similarly-timed departures were “purely coincidence.”

So too, it seems, are the new hires, as Elliman has apparently been after both Bolla, who had been running his own boutique brokerage operation for the past two decades, and Mangone, a top broker at Brown Harris Stevens, for years.

Bolla, whose Luxury Lofts & Homes has counted Denzel Washington, Heidi Klum, Jennifer Aniston and the Knicks’ Amar’e Stoudemire among its clients, joined Elliman as senior managing director this week in a move he described as “very long-discussed and carefully-planned.”

Among Luxury Lofts’ most recent projects is the restoration of the historic Chelsea townhouse at 436 West 20th Street, whose six, furnished apartments now rent for between $15,000 and $20,000 per month, and whose tenants have included Courtney Love and Olivier Sarkozy, the half-brother of French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Bolla said he had been looking to take on more development projects, and he feels the infrastructure at Elliman will better equip his three-person team to handle larger deals.

“We’re looking to do design consultations with developers in other cities as well as in New York,” he said, adding that Elliman was the only firm he considered.

Mangone recently helped broker the sale of Ian Schrager’s $11 million Nolita condo, and is also known for his celebrity clientele, including Beyonce, Ricky Martin and Mario Testino. After two years as a senior vice president at BHS, he resigned from his post today and will become a managing director at Elliman.

Mangone, who famously erected a billboard of himself above new condo 505 Greenwich Street, was previously an agent with the Corcoran Group, where he was a three-time “Downtown Broker of the Year” award recipient. There were some discrepancies over his departure from that firm in early 2009, when he claimed he quit but a Corcoran source alleged he was fired. 

His three-person team joins him at Elliman. Mangone cited Elliman’s resources and focus on “new development and lifestyle-driven properties” as motivation for his move.

Dottie Herman, Elliman’s CEO, called Bolla “an artist in the real estate world” and said that she had “been after Dennis for a long time as I knew he belonged here.”

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