In growth mode, CORE is expanding to Brooklyn

Firm adding 20-desk office in Cobble Hill
By E.B. Solomont | April 22, 2016 12:36PM

Boutique real estate firm CORE is expanding beyond its, well, core footprint in Manhattan with a new office in Brooklyn.

Following in the footsteps of other residential brokerages in Manhattan that have crossed the river, CORE plans to open an office in June at 180 Smith Street in Cobble Hill, CEO Shaun Osher told The Real Deal. The space will accommodate 20 agents.

CORE, which has three offices in the Flatiron area, Chelsea and Upper East Side, also signed a lease for a fifth office at 149 Fifth Avenue in the Flatiron. That office, which will have desks for 55 agents, is set to open next month.

Founded by Osher and the Cayre family in 2005, the brokerage has been adding agents at a rapid clip. Its current agent headcount is more than 160, according to listings portal On-Line Residential. CORE had 115 agents a year ago, according to The Real Deal’s annual ranking of residential firms published in May 2015. At that time, CORE had $277.5 million worth of listings, up from $156.9 million a year prior.

“A real estate company is only as good as the agents they have,” Osher said. “The [new offices] are driven by the need to expand because need space for agents who’ve come to CORE.”

Osher said his firm’s new development pipeline has swelled to 16 projects in various stages of planning.

In October 2013, mega developer Related Companies acquired a 50 percent stake in CORE for an undisclosed sum. At the time, the companies said Osher would collaborate with Related on future new development projects.

CORE will encounter a number of rivals when it opens its Cobble Hill office. The Corcoran Group has had a presence in the borough since the 1990s and firms like Douglas Elliman, Brown Harris Stevens and Halstead Property have been scrambling to expand in Brooklyn.

Last year, rental giant Citi Habitats acquired Brooklyn-based and overnight, gained two large offices in Williamsburg and Cobble Hill. MNS closed its sole office in Manhattan last fall and moved its headquarters to Williamsburg.