Boutique commercial brokerage PBS Real Estate has merged with fellow commercial brokerage ABS Partners Real Estate, The Real Deal has learned. The merger comes just days after PBS co-founder Laura Pomerantz announced that she would launch her own firm, Laura Pomerantz Real Estate.
Most of PBS’ key principals — including John Brod, who is also a founding partner, Robert Neborak and Toby Roberts — will join the larger firm, though not all of its brokers will come on board.
“We’re hoping that by putting the two together we have a solid foundation to bring in other very experienced people that can continue to add value,” Brod told The Real Deal. “It’s really about continuing to build a platform. I think that’s what the opportunity is.”
Gregg Schenker, co-managing partner and president of ABS, also expressed excitement about bringing the PBS team on board.
“We have watched PBS Real Estate since its inception and have enormous respect for the reputation, brand and results that they have achieved,” Schenker said in a statement to The Real Deal.
Brod said that the idea for the merger came about when he and Schenker coincidently ran into each other on an airplane ride between Florida and New York in January.
“[Schenker] started talking about ABS and I started talking about PBS and we looked at each other and said, ‘You know, you have strengths that PBS doesn’t have and we have strengths that you don’t have. Why don’t we try to put this thing together?’” Brod said.
In 2012, PBS brokered leases for the flagship location of clothing designer DKNY at 655 Madison Avenue, two Joe Fresh locations on Fifth Avenue and the sale of the retail condo at 105 Wooster Street in Soho. The firm also leased space at the famed 666 Fifth Avenue.
“At PBS we’re basically a small company doing very large deals,” Brod said. “One of the hindrances we had was we didn’t have the platform that ABS has. I guess there was a time to be small and [now] it’s time to ratchet that up to the next level.”
ABS, meanwhile, has been involved in several deals recently including brokering the sale of a $32 million Greenwich Village redevelopment site, as previously reported.