The Real Deal New York

With new direction, Urban Compass adds second NYC office

As business model shifts, brokerage takes 9,000 sf digs at 19 Union Square West

February 25, 2014 06:47PM
By Hiten Samtani

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From left: Robert Reffkin, Ori Allon and 19 Union Square West

From left: Robert Reffkin, Ori Allon and 19 Union Square West

Tech-centric residential brokerage Urban Compass has outgrown its current space at 155 Avenue of the Americas and is adding 9,000-square-foot digs at 19 Union Square West, The Real Deal has learned. Urban Compass will pay rents starting in the mid-$60s per square foot through May 2018 for the 10th-floor space at 19 Union Square W., according to CompStak data. It is subletting the space from Internet radio provider Pandora Media, which inked a 52,450-square-foot lease at SL Green Realty’s 125 Park Avenue in June, as TRD reported.

“We’re really excited about expanding into a second office less than a year after we launched,” said Sofia Song, a former top executive at StreetEasy who joined Urban Compass in January. “‘I’m happy to say that the company is growing as we continue to hire more of the city’s most experienced and smartest agents.”

The company is one of the most well-funded startups on the real estate scene, raising about $33 million since it launched, and recently snagged Town Residential broker Takeshi “Takk” Yamaguchi. 

Cushman & Wakefield’s Ethan Silverstein represented Urban Compass in the sublease deal, while Pandora was represented by CBRE’s Ramsey Feher, William Iacovelli and Paul Holmes. None of the brokers could be immediately reached for comment.

Urban Compass launched in May and initially combined StreetEasy-style listings website with a team of salaried “neighborhood specialists” who functioned much like rental brokers. But in December, the firm changed its business model to one more in line with traditional brokerages, as TRD reported.

  • Greg Frost

    LOL i’m surprised this company is still around

  • Mike

    The best brokerage in New York

    • Obama

      lawls

  • http://www.batman.com BobthePlunger

    The guy look like a blake griffin barack obama mix

  • joe

    just an impression, but they have a website that openly posts other broker’s listings. You can see address, price and pictures from their pages without signing up. Then you have to sign up but only to request an appointment to on of their agents. It seems to me that they are marketing other Company’s listings through this sort of “open” vow. Otherwise they shouldn’t openly (without registration) show address, pictures and prices. Am I wrong?

  • Fools Errand

    An idea alone is not enough for a brokerage business in NYC. Giant companies like Coldwell Banker, Remax, Keller Williams and many others have tried to come here with tremendous experience and have landed on their faces, because NYC brokerage doesn’t function the way brokerages are suppose to function. It’s about your people. It’s about your relationships. It’s about the building owners. Urban Compass might be better suited for a place like San Francisco, where they welcome anything that comes with a binary code. As they say in the South Bronx, “that junk don’t fly here, son.” Also, Bill Rudin can kiss his $8M ta ta.
    Also, look at the people they have at the top: a software programmer, a Harvard grad with zero real estate experience, a b-level executive from Citihabitats and Sofia Song. None of them have ever sold a single apartment in their lives.

    • Jon

      You said so right Fools Errand the TOP have no idea about NYC Real a Estate coupled with inexperienced non producing agents.

  • NYC realtor

    They need more space for what? They have a handful of the worst agents in NYC. Experienced and smartest? They are the worst! Even Gordon’s years of experience can’t save this Titanic!! I am sure Town is not crying over Takk. The world’s most obnoxious agent.

    • Jon

      You are so right NYC realtor!

  • BetterCallSaul

    they need more engineers!

    • Jon

      LOL…right?

  • Jon

    Outgrown digs? I guess they need to hire more engineers and staff. Staff exceeds agents…explain that?
    So how are they paying all this rent and a ridiculously large staff with all those engineers with just rental commissions? The have not established themselves as a real estate firm in NYC just look at the amount and all those experienced top producing agents? They really are suffering an identity crisis cuz they and nobody knows what they are about and or what they do. I give them another year for this start up they won’t last. I doubt DE, Corcoran, Sotheby’s , Stribling, BHS and the other luxury firms are worried about losing agents to them .
    Just saying…

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