LA’s Agency scopes out Town Residential

Beverly Hills boutique firm spotted touring brokerage's NYC offices

TRD New York /
Apr.April 26, 2016 07:00 AM

New York brokerages Douglas Elliman and Compass recently made moves in La La Land. But could one of Beverly Hills’ best-known residential brokerages be planting seeds in the Big Apple?

Representatives for the Agency, the high-end boutique brokerage run by L.A. brokers Billy Rose and Mauricio Umanksy, were recently spotted touring the offices of Town Residential, insiders told The Real Deal. They walked the offices with Bret Dweck, an executive vice president at Thor Equities, a source said.

Thor CEO Joseph Sitt is a joint owner of Town along with Andrew Heiberger, who founded the firm in 2010 and serves as the brokerage’s CEO. It wasn’t clear if Rose and Umansky were just doing some industry reconnaissance or if an acquisition or potential partnership might be in the works.

When contacted by The Real Deal, Heiberger said he was unaware of any tour.

“I have no idea what Bret and Joe have in mind with that brand,” he said, but noted that the two companies had been in discussions for some kind of referral partnership last year. Last winter, Town forged a deal with Miami-based Fortune International Group to jointly market certain properties. Talks of a similar deal with the Agency fell through at the time, however.

“We need to discuss this in depth and will not make any hasty decisions,” Heiberger said.

Neither Rose nor Umansky responded to a request for comment. Sitt is out of the country, a spokesperson said.

Despite its limited geographic footprint, the Agency is a privately-owned brokerage whose top talent does hundreds of millions of dollars in deals each year. Umansky placed third on the Real Trends/Wall Street Journal list of top residential agents in 2015, with more than $604 million in closed sales. In January, he co-listed the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills for $200 million. Rose ranked No. 18 on the Real Trends list with $260 million in sales in 2015.

In March, the Agency hired Westbrook Partners’ Jason Glasgow as chief operating office and managing partner of the Development Group, the firm’s new development marketing arm. The job entails working to expand the firm’s reach “on both a local and global scale,” according to a statement at the time.

Rumors have swirled for years that Sitt is looking to sell his stake in the firm. In 2012 and 2013, he and Heiberger entered into negotiations with an unidentified “leading international brokerage firm” to sell Town for a “nine-figure number,” according to documents relating to an old lawsuit between the two. No deal ever materialized.

More recently, however, industry chatter has picked up regarding a possible stake sale. One brokerage head recently told TRD that Sitt is once again looking to sell his piece of the firm. The value of his stake is unclear.


Related Article

arrow_forward_ios
Compass' Rory Golod and Robert Reffkin at 110 Fifth Avenue with Andrew Heiberger (inset) (Credit: Google Maps)

Town’s old office now “unrecognizable,” Compass says on moving day

Thor Equities chairman Joe Sitt and 1006 Madison Avenue

Thor in danger of losing Madison Ave property

545 Madison Avenue and Thor Equities' Joe Sitt

Thor Equities in hot water at 545 Madison

From left: Joseph Sitt, Yaron Jacobi and Uzi Ben Abraham; 117 East 15th Street, 1122 Madison Avenue and 96-33 Queens Boulevard (Credit: Google Maps, Getty Images)

Here’s what the $10M-$30M NYC investment sales market looked like last week

680 Madison Avenue and Thor Equities CEO Joe Sitt (Credit: Google Maps)

Joe Sitt’s Thor wants $370M for Madison Ave retail condo

Joe Sitt and 1725 Shore Parkway (Credit: Google Maps)

Thor Equities looks to sell BJ’s big-box store in Gravesend

Ex-Town exec Luciane Serifovic launches virtual brokerage

Gladstone, Heiberger settle $100M libel suit

arrow_forward_ios