Gary Cannata, a veteran of residential brokerage Douglas Elliman, has departed the firm and will take up an executive role at Town Residential in January, he told The Real Deal.
“It’s an emotional time for me because I have great respect for [Elliman CEO] Dottie Herman,” he said. “Without her, I would not be where I am.”
Herman declined to comment on the move.
Cannata had been at Elliman, where he headed the company’s offices at 774 Broadway and 690 Washington Street, since Herman purchased the brokerage in partnership with investor and company chairman Howard Lorber in 2003. Before that, he worked for Herman’s previous company out of its only New York City office. He has been in the industry for more than 30 years.
At Town, Cannata will work out of the company’s Gramercy office, at 33 Irving Place. While he does not yet have an official title at the firm, he will specialize in downtown sales and leasing, according to a statement from Town.
“There is no substitute for his experience; this is a once in a decade opportunity,” Town CEO Andrew Heiberger said. “There are very few top-notch professionals in this business that have maintained a stellar reputation throughout their career. Gary’s connections and network are unparalleled.”
In addition to his experience in brokerage, Cannata founded the management company River to River Properties International in 1988. He has since sold off the accounts attached to that company in order to focus on his brokerage work, he said.
Among Cannata’s biggest deals was the 2009 sale of a multi-family building at 791 Broadway for $5.8 million.
As for his reasons for moving, Cannata said he’d been encouraged by the company’s recent hiring of Jeff Appel as president and chief operating officer, whom he’d worked with years ago in Elliman’s mortgage division.
“He’s probably one of the best sales persons I have ever met and I like his energy,” he said.
Until he starts at Town in the new year, Cannata can be found lounging with his Great Dane puppies at his home in Santa Domingo in the Dominican Republic.