CB Bellmarc plants Upper Manhattan flag with firm addition

By Hayley Kaplan | October 22, 2013 12:42PM

In a bid to capitalize on the thriving Upper Manhattan residential market, Coldwell Banker the Bellmarc Group has absorbed Simone Song Properties, a boutique brokerage based in Hudson Heights.

Simone Song Properties will operate as a Coldwell Banker franchise under the wing of Coldwell Banker Bellmarc and will take the name Bellmarc-Simone Song Inc., the larger firm said.

“The Bellmarc Group is looking to broaden its coverage of the market … and the Upper Manhattan market is not somewhere we have a presence,” Neil Binder, president of Coldwell Banker Bellmarc, told The Real Deal.

Coldwell Banker Bellmarc, one of the largest firms in Manhattan, is not the first of the city’s brokerage heavyweights to expand north of 96th Street in recent months. Halstead Property and Douglas Elliman in August opened new offices in Harlem at 175 Lenox Avenue and 2112 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, respectively.

The 11-agent Simone Song Properties, founded in 1986 by Simone Song, operates primarily in Hudson Heights, Washington Heights and Inwood. Song will assume the title of manager of Bellmarc-Simone Song and will continue to run its existing office at 241 Cabrini Boulevard and West 187th Street.

“Joining forces with a large and well-reputed brokerage as Coldwell Banker Bellmarc opens up city-wide, national and international vistas for our clients, while still providing the same personal, face-to-face experience with our knowledgeable team,” Song said in a statement. She was not immediately available for further comment.

Song is “the most respected broker in [the Upper Manhattan] market,” Binder said.

The parties declined to disclose the terms of the transaction.

The last few months have been a whirlwind for Coldwell Banker Bellmarc. The 650-agent Bellmarc Group announced in June that it would become a Coldwell Banker franchise, as The Real Deal previously reported,  marking Coldwell Banker’s first foray into Manhattan since the 2009 shuttering of Coldwell Banker Hunt Kennedy.

Coldwell Banker Bellmarc had been hinting about its expansion plans since it became a franchise, telling The Real Deal in September that it was in talks to acquire other, as-yet-undisclosed Manhattan firms. Currently, the firm has six offices throughout Manhattan.

Coldwell Banker Bellmarc continues to negotiate with other firms, Binder said, declining to disclose which ones because of confidentiality agreements.