The Real Deal New York

Extell’s design chief jumps to Urban Compass to head new development division

Roy Kim’s resume includes One57 and Seattle Public Library

July 28, 2014 11:55AM
By Hiten Samtani

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From left: Gary Barnett and Roy Kim (Credit: Urban Compass)

From left: Gary Barnett and Roy Kim (Credit: Urban Compass)

Extell Development’s top design executive left Gary Barnett’s firm to join Urban Compass. Roy Kim, who worked on projects including One57 and the Carlton House, will build a new development team at the cash-rich real estate tech startup.

“Roy has worked on more than $10 billion worth of luxury development throughout the city, making him the ideal candidate to lead this endeavor,” Urban Compass CEO Robert Reffkin told The Real Deal. The role of a new development team at a brokerage, Reffkin said, is to help a developer create the most appropriate product for a neighborhood, and he said Kim’s experience in predevelopment, architecture and design is an ideal fit.

Kim said he wasn’t actively looking for a change. For about eight years, the Vancouver native helped build some of Extell’s biggest projects, after Barnett hired him from Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group, where he was director of predevelopment. Prior to that, he worked on the design team for starchitects such as Rem Koolhaus and Zaha Hadid. “I’ve had a hand in building this company,” Kim said of Extell, adding that he was drawn to Urban Compass’ goal of integrating technology and real estate.

While Urban Compass was courting Kim, it was also in the midst of raising $40 million in its Series B fundraising round. Kim said he was made aware of the company’s upcoming cash influx during the negotiations.

Reffkin added that the company will be hiring traditional marketing and sales staff to support Kim. Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group and Citi Habitats alumnus Billy Goldstein and Stribling & Associates alumnus Ian Overton recently joined the team.

Urban Compass’ current roster of new development projects includes the 12-unit 7 Harrison Street in Tribeca and the 10-unit 560 West 24th Street in West Chelsea.

  • Jim S.

    Roy has an excellent reputation. This is another big win for Urban Compass.

  • jose

    Urban Compass for the win!!!

  • truthordare

    what is his salary???

    • Art

      I heard $400k+stock options and tons of perks…expense account, driver-car etc. a lot more than what he received prior

  • Slapintheface

    Looks like Urban Compass is simply replicating what Town did 2 years ago and what Elliman has been ever aggresively doing over the last few years. Urban Compass is flush with money and buying lots of industry people with it. Contrary to its claims thus far, it is not innovative in the least. It’s just offering more of the same and snagging people with the same stale ideas by offering them more money than they made at their previous companies. Except this time the money man is Ori Allon and not Joe Sitt.

    • joe

      you have the slightest idea of what you’re talking about. Urban compass is not at all like other brokers. just wait and watch urban compass rock the world.

      • Slapintheface

        Joe: As per your suggestion, I’ll wait and watch to see if Urban Compass rocks the world. I am quite certain that this prediction won’t come to pass. You can’t even compose a typo-free sentence. Why don’t you re-read the first two words of your post? If you are in management at Urban Compass or an agent there, your incompetence is indicative of what I suspect is the similar incompetence of your co-workers. Yea, so your statement “you have the slightest idea of what you’re talking about” was actually on point. Go back to showing rental apartments, please.

        • huh?

          yawn…lame argument

  • Tabloid City

    Interesting move. That company has picked up some good talent. Remind me of when Town first opened up and their back to back announcements. Urban Compass apparently have 70M in the bank town has $200K.

  • john

    NEWS! Urban Compass buys Town. Andrew on unemployment.

  • Jonathan Doe

    I had the misfortune of working at this greedy, ruthless start-up so I can give you the details that everyone is squirming for. They are getting lots of investor funding so they have now started to offer base salaries and high commission splits to top sales agents from Corcoran, Halstead, and Elliman (that’s the secret!). Once they nab (steal) these agents they drop other agents that are making less (example: their original hardworking rental agents). They are basically ruthless users and each month they crank out their excel spread sheets and fire a bunch of their agents to make room for their new cash cows.

  • Jonathan Doe

    The have a simple business model:
    1.) GET INVESTOR’S MONEY
    2.) USE INVESTOR’S MONEY TO POACH TOP AGENTS FROM TOP FIRMS
    3.) OFFER TOP AGENTS BASE SALARY, STOCK OPTIONS, AND HIGH COMMISSION SPLITS.
    4.) FIRE AGENTS TO MAKE ROOM FOR NEW ONES
    5.) RINSE AND REPEAT

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