Lease an airplane, buy a condominium?
At a time when many residential brokerages are shuttering storefronts, Engel & Völkers is planning to open a retail shop in prime Midtown that will incorporate real estate sales with its yacht and aircraft leasing operation. The firm inked a lease last week for 1,300 square feet at 430 Park Avenue, according to Stuart Siegel, president and CEO of Engel & Völkers New York Real Estate.
Germany-based Engel & Völkers has 800 such “shop and lounge” concepts around the world in key markets such as Paris and Dubai. “This is the first in New York City,” said Siegel, who described the new Park Avenue shop as a North American marketing outpost for Engel & Völkers Yachting and Engel & Völkers Aviaton, two of the company’s ancillary businesses.
For years, high-end brokerages have played up the relationship between buyers of luxury real estate and other goods — like art, airplanes and boats.
“Marketing real estate on the high end is not a commodity business, it’s a lifestyle,” said Siegel, a past president of Sotheby’s International Realty, a firm that licensed its name from the auction house.
To that end, he cited the store’s proximity to Billionaires’ Row and the foot traffic around the neighborhood as an asset. “People say the traditional brokerage is dead,” he said. “But it’s not.”
Engel & Völkers New York currently has around 75 agents working out of an 11,000-square-foot space on the 11th floor of 430 Park. During the first nine months of the year, they sold $150 million worth of real estate.
Siegel said the agents will help to staff the new storefront on a rotating basis.