Bold New York wades into new development sales

Residential brokerage sold $100M-plus worth of resale units last year
By E.B. Solomont | February 15, 2016 03:20PM

Bold New York, a rental-centric residential brokerage that works directly with landlords, is taking a leap into condominium unit sales with a new boutique project in Greenpoint.

The brokerage was tapped to market 533 Leonard Street, a 13-unit project being developed by Nissim Ben-Nun and Nicholas Werner’s Largo Investments. This marks the firm’s first foray into sales for new development condos.

Bold is currently leasing the Moinian Group’s massive tower Sky at 605 West 42nd Street, which has 1,175 rental units, for example. Bold’s president and co-founder, Jordan Sachs, said 533 Leonard is one of roughly a dozen new development condos in Bold’s pipeline, though he declined to disclose specific addresses, citing various non-compete agreements.

At 533 Leonard, prices start at $1.395 million for a one-bedroom, two-bathroom condo measuring 946 square feet. Two penthouse units – one with 1,350 square feet and two terraces and the other coming in at 1,512-square feet with two terraces – are asking $2.895 million and $2.875 million, respectively.

“The idea was to preserve the historic value of the building,” Sachs said, citing the building’s 17-foot ceilings and unique layouts.

Sachs, who launched Bold in 2010 with co-founder Todd Jacobs, said the brokerage initially gained its footing in the rental market. It rolled out a sales department in 2012 and today, the firm has 100 agents who sold more than $100 million worth of real estate last year. On the rental side, the firm exclusively handles leasing at more than 400 buildings, representing roughly 15,000 units, including the ones at Sky.

Bold has worked with Largo in the past, and Sachs said his firm will handle sales at 71 North 7th Street, a forthcoming condo project that Largo is developing with Michael Stern’s JDS Development Group. In the new development rental space, Bold leased several Williamsburg buildings — 50 North 1st Street, with 46 units; 281 Union Avenue, with 33 units; and 223 North 8th Street, with 95 units. Largo and Westbrook Partners jointly developed the latter property.

“There’s great money in new development condo sales, and there’s also an intrinsic value, more than just the money, of [being] part of the process,” said Sachs, who said Bold would continue to grow its resale business because it remains the “bread and butter” of Bold’s sales division.

Amid consolidation in the industry, boutique firms like Bold are poised to land business from developers seeking an edge, Sachs said. (For example, mega brokerage Citi Habitats acquired Brooklyn-based last year.)

“Some of the larger brokerages that have $2 billion in their pipeline, it’s tough to go to a 13-unit development and think, ‘I’m going to give this the same attention’” as a large-scale project, Sachs said.