Residential real estate giant the Corcoran Group has been commended by King’s County Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries for correcting its advertising practices. Corcoran, Jeffries said in today’s statement, had been falsely stating the boundary between Prospect Heights and Crown Heights in an effort to market Crown Heights’ properties as being in the more desirable Prospect Heights neighborhood.
Jeffries’ office said the assemblyman contacted Corcoran CEO Pamela Liebman April 25 about the practice, citing a New York State Real Property Law that allows the Secretary of State to sanction a real estate broker “if such licensee has been guilty of fraud or fraudulent practices, or for dishonest or misleading advertising, or had demonstrated untrustworthiness or incompetency to act as a real estate broker or salesman,” the law states.
Corcoran had placed the eastern boundary of Prospect Heights as Bedford Avenue, putting it squarely in Crown Heights. The traditional boundaries of the Prospects Heights community are Washington Avenue to the east, Eastern Parkway to the South, Flatbush Avenue to the West and Atlantic Avenue to the North, according to Jeffries’ office.
“The borders of New York City’s neighborhoods are often debated to the point of confusion. We were happy to comply with Assemblyman Jeffries’ request and appreciate his efforts on behalf of his district, ” Liebman said.
There have been many examples of brokerages redefining or renaming areas including one instance where a brokerage (Jeffries’ office wouldn’t state which) coined the term Pro-Cro for certain areas of Crown Heights, said Loupe Todd, a spokesperson for Jeffries, though she refused to name names. “The assemblyman and some of his staff are doing due diligence to make sure that what was happening with Corcoran is not happening in other places. We hope that other legislators citywide will notice discrepancies and report it,” she said.
The Corcoran fix is only the latest in a range of measures Jeffries has been initiating as part of his neighborhood integrity campaign. He intends to introduce legislation requiring the city of New York to instigate an official process for the re-naming of neighborhoods, preventing brokers from plucking marketing terms out of clean air. As The Real Deal reported last month, Jeffries has gotten fed up with with novelty nicknames such as SoHa (South Harlem) and BoCoCa (Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens).