The Real Deal New York

Where are they now: Ex-Bellmarc principals are flipping homes in the Hudson Valley

Larry Friedman, Frank Sanchez are buying, renovating and selling in upstate New York
By E.B. Solomont | March 02, 2017 07:00AM

From left: Larry Friedman and Frank Sanchez

Larry Friedman and Frank Sanchez left embattled New York City brokerage Bellmarc Realty over two years ago, but they haven’t exactly left distressed real estate.

The partners — who joined Neil Binder’s company in 2012 as principals — are buying, renovating and selling rundown homes in the Hudson Valley.

After leaving Bellmarc in 2014, Friedman and Sanchez did a couple of flips on their own before raising “several million” dollars from private investors, Friedman told The Real Deal. Their firm, SDF Capital LLC, targets three-bedroom homes with a resale value between $300,000 to $800,000. Last year, SDF flipped 18 houses, and Friedman said they’re on pace to complete 60 projects this year.

“There’s been a shift in the market, a lot of buyers are looking for move-in ready homes,” Friedman said. “We want to sell at or under the median price to give value to the customer.”

Their former employer, meanwhile, has fallen on tough financial times. Bellmarc closed its last office in the Flatiron District last year after its landlord sued for nonpayment, and in June, Binder offered IOUs to agents in lieu of commission payments.

Sanchez, Friedman and Anthony DeGrotta founded the rental brokerage A.C. Lawrence in 2006, which eventually grew to 500 agents and was acquired by Bellmarc in 2012. But in 2014, Friedman and DeGrotta accused Binder of stealing from the company. After a period of fierce litigation, Sanchez, Friedman and DeGrotta left Bellmarc for Keller Williams NYC, where they were active for about a year, Sanchez said.

In September, DeGrotta left Keller Williams, where he was COO. He is now a regional manager at Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty in Stony Brook, N.Y., according to his LinkedIn profile.