September 10, 2010 07:15PM
Clockwise, from left: the Toren, Timothy King and Rob Morea
Following nearly a year and a half without commercial brokerage representation, Downtown Brooklyn condominium the Toren has tapped CPEX as the exclusive marketing team for the 13,000-square-foot retail space.
Great Jones Realty was a co-broker on the space at 150 Myrtle Avenue with Arch Brokerage for roughly six months, beginning in November 2007, and then they were let go, said Rob Morea, a sales associate with Great Jones, which is owned by Don Capocia, who co-owns Toren developer BFC Partners.
While neither Morea nor Timothy King, a CPEX principal, said they know why there was a 17-month gap in retail representation, Morea said it was likely that the development team waited for more residential units to sell before rehiring a new commercial team. Other sources suggested that when the market is down, it makes sense for a developer to concentrate on selling residential units, rather than trying to lease out commercial space.
“Maybe they were trying to get more of the residential [units] sold. That gets a potential [retail] tenant interested,” Morea said.
While the Toren had struggled with condo unit sales in the downturn, as of July, the 240-unit building was roughly 65 percent sold, The Real Deal reported. Condo sales began March 2008, according to Streeteasy.
The retail area, which is currently vacant, had received leasing offers before the market downturn, Morea said, but negotiations did not pan out.
“We had brought a grocer there [but] we couldn’t agree on terms and then the market changed,” Morea said. “Toren came out very popular [before the market downturn]. They were trying to hold out maybe for a better tenant.”
With apartment sales showing some momentum, King said his Toren leasing team, led by Eric Altschul and Ryan Condren, both associate directors, had a strategic plan for its marketing efforts.
“We use what we like to call the shotgun and the sniper rifle approach,” King said. “The sniper rifle is where we sit down and say, who is the really ideal tenant for this place,” and the shotgun refers to a broader marketing approach.
Capocia, who was out of the country, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Arch Brokerage declined to comment.