Jersey brokerage aims for Brooklyn buyers

By David Jones | August 01, 2008 01:58PM

A leading New Jersey brokerage has teamed up with Fillmore Real Estate, the largest independent brokerage in Brooklyn, to attract buyers across the river to new single and two-family homes in Newark’s South Ward.

West Orange, N.J.-based Jordan Baris, under a co-brokerage deal with Fillmore, is offering single-family homes starting at $239,000, 20 percent below normal prices in the area and well below Brooklyn’s high prices.

“You’re getting the buyer who either can’t afford to buy in Brooklyn or can afford to buy, but decided that the space they would get is too small for the price,” said John Reinhardt, president and chief executive of Fillmore. “It’s more of a trend for consumers to cross boundaries [between New York and New Jersey].”

Reinhardt said that many young families who work in Manhattan are selling their Brooklyn homes or have been priced out of trendy Brooklyn rental submarkets like Fort Greene.

Ken Baris, president of Jordan Baris, had a relationship with Fillmore through Chicago-based Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, a network of 700 independent brokers that refers clients to various real estate markets.

“This is a novel idea, and if it works, it’s something we hope to expand upon,” Baris said. “Many of our buyers have come to Newark from Brooklyn.”

The newly built homes, called Summit Premier, range from 2,362-square-foot three-bedroom homes to two-family homes with a two-car garage, for $299,000.

The developer, Summit Real Estate Developers, based in Cranford, N.J., first entered Newark’s South Ward about eight years ago, and has sold about 175 Southwyck Estates homes since 2001. Baris said new homes in the South Ward have gone for about $299,000 to $439,000.

The 30 units on the market are custom built, making the development a safer investment for the builder and for Valley National Bank, which is financing the construction, said Peter Weissbrod, managing partner of Summit Real Estate. He said that new buyers will have to pre-qualify for financing, but preferred lenders were working with the company. 

“We don’t build on speculation,” he said. “We only build when we have a solid contract. In general the [marketing] is tightening up a little bit, but I think the banks recognize that a good project is a good project.”