Moinian, Town Residential end exclusive leasing relationship

Hurricane damage to Financial District buildings makes Moinian reconsider costs

TRD New York /
Dec.December 03, 2012 08:30 AM

The Moinian Group and Town Residential have ended their longtime business relationship, The Real Deal has learned, meaning Town will no longer act as the exclusive leasing agent for a large segment of Moinian’s residential portfolio.

Town, the firm founded in 2010 by Citi Habitats founder Andrew Heiberger, previously represented the Ocean at One West Street, 90W at 90 Washington Street and the Renaissance at 100 John Street, where Town Marketing and Leasing oversaw a rebranding this past June. Those associations have now ended, both Town and Moinian confirmed.

Sources told The Real Deal that additional costs associated with damage caused to Moinian’s downtown portfolio by Hurricane Sandy had compelled Moinian to rethink the costs associated with keeping Town on board. While 90W is said to be operating normally, the Ocean is still recovering from infrastructure damage incurred as a result of the storm.

In a statement, Matthew Van Damm, director of operations at Town, said the brokerage had raised the rent roll, reduced tenant incentives and owner paid broker fees (or OPs), and installed “extraordinary” on-site building staff.

“At this time, we feel it is to both parties’ benefit to part ways,” he said. “We have a great deal of respect and admiration for Joe Moinian and his team and value our continued friendship.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Moinian said an internal decision had been made to begin leasing these properties in-house after a one-year exclusive with Town expired this summer.

“The Moinian Group has enjoyed a long and successful relationship with Town and its principals and we expect to work with them again in the future in some capacity,” the spokesperson said.

Moinian’s association with Heiberger goes back 15 years. Citi Habitats completed the initial lease up of 100 John Street for Moinian in 1997 when Heiberger was still at the helm of the company, and Citi Habitats’ former Financial District office was located in the retail portion of the building. Town also headed leasing at Dwell 95, a 507-unit Financial District apartment complex owned by the Moinian Group at 95 Wall Street, until it was sold to UDR, a Colorado-based real estate investment trust, for $325 million last year.

Sources said that Town is unlikely to lay off any of its onsite staff as a result of the switch. The brokerage will likely relocate those employees to some of its upcoming new development projects in the new year, they said.

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