The Real Deal New York

Extell’s design chief jumps to Urban Compass to head new development division

Roy Kim’s resume includes One57 and Seattle Public Library
By Hiten Samtani | July 28, 2014 11:55AM

Extell Development’s top design executive left Gary Barnett’s firm to join Urban Compass. Roy Kim, who worked on projects including One57 and the Carlton House, will build a new development team at the cash-rich real estate tech startup.

“Roy has worked on more than $10 billion worth of luxury development throughout the city, making him the ideal candidate to lead this endeavor,” Urban Compass CEO Robert Reffkin told The Real Deal. The role of a new development team at a brokerage, Reffkin said, is to help a developer create the most appropriate product for a neighborhood, and he said Kim’s experience in predevelopment, architecture and design is an ideal fit.

Kim said he wasn’t actively looking for a change. For about eight years, the Vancouver native helped build some of Extell’s biggest projects, after Barnett hired him from Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group, where he was director of predevelopment. Prior to that, he worked on the design team for starchitects such as Rem Koolhaus and Zaha Hadid. “I’ve had a hand in building this company,” Kim said of Extell, adding that he was drawn to Urban Compass’ goal of integrating technology and real estate.

While Urban Compass was courting Kim, it was also in the midst of raising $40 million in its Series B fundraising round. Kim said he was made aware of the company’s upcoming cash influx during the negotiations.

Reffkin added that the company will be hiring traditional marketing and sales staff to support Kim. Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group and Citi Habitats alumnus Billy Goldstein and Stribling & Associates alumnus Ian Overton recently joined the team.

Urban Compass’ current roster of new development projects includes the 12-unit 7 Harrison Street in Tribeca and the 10-unit 560 West 24th Street in West Chelsea.