CORE star Michael Graves jumps to Elliman

Departure follows recent defection of Vickey Barron
By Katherine Clarke | August 12, 2013 12:00PM

Michael Graves, a top-producing broker at CORE, has joined Douglas Elliman after a four-year stint with Shaun Osher’s Chelsea-based firm, he told The Real Deal exclusively.

“I wanted to better serve my clients and customers wherever they are, including the Hamptons, in Miami and abroad,” Graves said in a statement. “Elliman’s size, strategic presence and partnerships nationally and internationally afford me a unique opportunity to do far-reaching business. [The company] has some of the most exciting new projects on the market right now.”

Graves’ move comes just two months after the departure of Vickey Barron, another top Core broker and new development pro, to Elliman.

A spokesperson for the firm declined to comment on Graves’ exit.

While at CORE, Graves brokered more than $150 million in deals over three years, breaking the price per square foot records at several exclusive buildings, including 7 Bond Street and 240 Park Avenue South. On Bond Street, he sold the penthouse apartment earlier this year for $9.2 million, or $700,000 above the initial asking price of $8.5 million, after listing it for a mere 23 days. He sold the ninth-floor Unit On Park Avenue South for $8.3 million.

At Elliman, Graves will continue working on resales as well as new development, he said.

“Michael is the real deal. He’s savvy, knowledgeable, and he knows the New York City market inside and out,” said Elliman CEO Dottie Herman in a statement to The Real Deal.

CORE is, by design, a small boutique firm, while Elliman is an industry behemoth. CORE had 55 agents and $334 million in listings, according to The Real Deal‘s most recent brokerage ranking in May, while Elliman had 1,599 agents and $2.2 billion in listings.

Graves, a classical guitarist and Minnesota native, became a broker in 2009 after pursuing a career as a music composer. His father, Jim Graves, founder of hotel company Graves Hospitality Corporation, came close to ousting Tea Party figurehead Michele Bachmann from her seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in a tightly contested race last year.

Graves’ listings at CORE included a $17.5 million New Jersey home at 105 Chestnut Ridge Road, which he was co-listing with Osher, and a $7.25 million apartment at 45 Walker Street in Tribeca. When asked if those listings would move to Elliman with him, Graves declined to comment.