Residential brokerage Brown Harris Stevens is nearly doubling its flagship office at 445 Park Avenue, Hall Willkie, the president of the firm, told The Real Deal exclusively today. The firm plans to relocate brokers from its 790 Madison Avenue location, which will close. The firm’s office at 1121 Madison Avenue will remain open.
The company has leased the entire 12th floor at the commercial office tower, between East 56th and East 57th streets, in addition to its current digs on the 11th floor.
The move brings the brokerage’s total square footage at the Midtown tower to 18,000 square feet, up from around 10,000 square feet, though some of the new space will house Terra Development Marketing, the new development arm of the firm’s parent company, Terra Holdings.
The landlord for the building is Park Avenue Props Assocs LLC. There were no brokers involved in the transaction and the taking rent was not available.
The Park Avenue spread previously housed about 84 brokers, as well as assistants and other administrative staff, Willkie said. With the additional space, the office can handle up to 110 agents and provide additional offices and conference rooms for brokers, Willkie said. The floor also features an unusual terrace overlooking Park Avenue, which could be used for hosting cocktail parties for clients or industry colleagues. The space was previously occupied by gaming company Nintendo and only recently became available.
Some of the additional brokers will come from the company’s soon-to-be closed 790 Madison Avenue office, Willkie said. The Madison Avenue office was previously home to boutique brokerage Edward Lee Cave, which struck up an agreement to come under the Brown Harris Stevens umbrella in 2009. Brown Harris Stevens also can afford to hire between 20 and 24 new agents to fill the space.
Among Brown Harris Stevens’ most recent hires is Beverley Goodwin, a veteran of Sotheby’s International Realty. Fondly known in the industry as Bunny, Goodwin departed Sotheby’s after a long tenure to join the rival firm earlier this month, she told The Real Deal today.
Goodwin, who specializes in the sale of prewar apartments on the Upper East Side, will join the Edward Cave division.
Goodwin started her career at Douglas Elliman but had been at Sotheby’s for 20 years. Her most significant deals include the $15.9 sale of a 15-room triplex penthouse at 812 Park Avenue to Edgar Bronfman, Jr., the former CEO of Warner Music Group. Bronfman purchased the apartment in 2011 from financier Gordon Pattee and his wife, who had listed the home for $36.5 million in 2007 with Goodwin and colleague Caroline Guthrie.
The Sotheby’s alumna said there had been no specific impetus for the move to Brown Harris Stevens, which is an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate. Rather, it came out of a longstanding relationship she’d had with the company as a co-exclusive listing broker and friend.
“I thought it was the time for a change,” she said. “I love the tie-in with Christie’s. I’ve always thought the art market was a leading indicator for real estate.”
A representative for Sotheby’s did not immediately respond to a request for comment.