Corcoran closes Harlem office

By Lauren Elkies and Candace Taylor | January 29, 2009 01:42PM

The Corcoran Group has joined the ranks of New York City residential real estate companies which are shutting offices to cut costs in the midst of the economic downturn.

The company is closing its Harlem office, a storefront location at 2224 Frederick Douglass Boulevard at 120th Street, which opened in 2005. According to an e-mail issued yesterday by company President and CEO Pamela Liebman, the “plan [is] to merge our Harlem office into our other West Side offices.”

Tresa Hall, Corcoran executive vice president and director of sales, broke the news in person to the agents in the Harlem office the day before, agents in the office said.

The office is slated for closure in about a month, when the lease expires, the sources said, with the majority of roughly 20 Harlem agents working out of vacant space in the 888 Seventh Avenue office between 56th and 57th streets.

However, Liebman’s statement said, “Harlem remains a very important market for us and we fully intend to provide the same degree of coverage that exists there today.” Liebman would not respond to questions about the move, besides confirming the Harlem office’s closure.

Corcoran has nine Manhattan offices besides the Harlem one, including its headquarters at 660 Madison Avenue between 60th and 61st streets, plus offices in Brooklyn, the East End of Long Island and South Florida.

Corcoran has taken other steps to cut costs in recent months. Liebman told The Real Deal in December that the company had been “cutting unnecessary expenses,” reducing advertising and marketing costs and had eliminated back-office positions through both attrition and layoffs.

Other residential real estate companies have made similar moves to shave off costs, including Citi Habitats, which shares Corcoran’s parent company, NRT. The rental giant closed two offices — one in the Financial District at 100 John Street between Pearl and William streets, and the other at 346 West 57th Street, between Eighth and Ninth avenues.

Bellmarc Realty closed its corporate headquarters at 352 Park Avenue South, between 25th and 26th streets, moving workers stationed there to the company’s Flatiron office.

Last month, Warburg Realty announced it will shutter its office at 65 West 13th Street and a smaller brokerage, Homestead, closed its shop before the New Year.