The Daily Dirt: Compass opens door to ex-Uber staffers

Aug.August 06, 2019 11:00 AM
Compass CEO Robert Reffkin and CCO Matt Spangler (Credit: Getty Images and Compass)

Compass CEO Robert Reffkin and CCO Matt Spangler (Credit: Getty Images and Compass)

Uber laid off hundreds of people last week — and Compass swooped in to remind those workers that it’s hiring like gangbusters. 
It’s not uncommon for tech companies to circulate job openings when one of their own slashes its workforce. But when Compass chimed in last week on social media to highlight its many openings in light of Uber’s cuts, it offered an interesting contrast between pre- and post-initial public offering strategies.

Compass is still in growing mode: The firm has 13,000 agents around the country, and sources say that number is likely to climb as high as 20,000 agents by the end of the year, E.B. Solomont reports. The company is also tripling its product-and-engineering team, having hired 200 people this year and advertising another 71 engineering jobs.

Last week, Compass raised another $370 million, bumping its valuation up to $6.4 billion. But the trajectory of other unicorns indicates that Compass will likely need to retool its spending practices ahead of its IPO, whenever that may be. Before its IPO, Lyft let go 50 people in its bike and scooter division. And Uber laid off 400 people — a third of its marketing team — to cut down costs following an IPO that was a dud.

Tweeting at former Uber employees about job opportunities is pretty mild as far as Compass recruiting practices go. The company has a reputation for aggressively luring agents from competitor brokerages, and has even faced several lawsuits — most recently from Realogy and Elegran — related to its recruiting methods.

Yacht drama, straight ahead! 

Developer Miki Naftali bought a boat for $14 million in 2017, and a yacht broker — which is apparently a thing — claims that he was unfairly cut out of the deal. In a new lawsuit, broker Scott Goldsworthy claims he was cheated out of a $725,000 commission after guiding Naftali to the boat of his dreams. According to the lawsuit, Michele Gavino, CEO of Italian yacht manufacturer Baglietto, and Naftali excluded Goldsworthy from the deal after several in-person meetings and discussions about the specifications of the boat.

Naftali has also filed a suit against Goldsworthy, which alleges that the broker “did not play any role in the negotiations” and that Naftali “never discussed his potential construction” of the boat with Goldsworthy.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

What we’re thinking about next:  Will developers CIM Group, L+M Development Partners, Starrett Development and JDS Development Group succeed in appealing a decision that has temporarily halted their Two Bridges projects? What does this mean for as-of-right development in New York City? Send a note to [email protected].

Residential: The priciest residential closing recorded on Monday was for a condo unit at 24 Leonard Street in Tribeca, at $12.8 million.
Commercial: The most expensive commercial closing of the day was for development rights at Long Island University’s Brooklyn campus just west of Fort Greene Park, at $76.4 million. RXR Realty is the buyer, and LIU is the seller. RXR also received $226 million in financing for the new building planned on the site, which closed on Monday as well.

The largest new building filing of the day was for an 850,800-square-foot office building at 304 Hudson Street in Hudson Square. The Walt Disney Company filed the permit application.

The priciest residential listing to hit the market was for a co-op unit at 795 Fifth Avenue in Lenox Hill, at $24.4 million. Brown Harris Stevens’ Marlene Marcus as the listing. — Research by Mary Diduch

A thing we’ve learned…
Marty Burger met his wife the same week he met Larry Silverstein. In The Closing in this month’s edition of the magazine, Burger told Rich Bockmann that he met his wife on the Jewish dating site, JDate, in 2009. That same week, he met Silverstein, who would hire him as an executive vice president — with the intention of grooming Burger as his successor. In his JDate profile, Burger wore a ski mask. Apparently his future wife “liked the fact that she couldn’t see my face.” No word on whether a ski mask is also what won Silverstein over.

Top stories from our other markets:

A decline in Seattle-area home values is the first seen in years in a major U.S. metropolitan area. Single-family home prices in May fell 1.2 percent, compared with the same month last year, according to data from S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller. Kelly Meister, a Seattle-based broker for Compass, said home prices appear more uneven than a year ago from one neighborhood in the city to another.

Cboe Global Markets wants in on Old Main Post Office’s popularity, so much so it planning to sell its Downtown headquarters. The parent company of the Chicago Board Options Exchange will soon list its office building at 400 South LaSalle Street, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The company announced the marketing of the building in an earnings report conference call last week.

The U.S. arm of China-based Gaw Capital Partners and DJM Capital paid $325 million to buy the sprawling Hollywood & Highland Center, according to sources familiar with the deal. The acquisition for the massive mall and entertainment complex at 6801 Hollywood Boulevard was announced on Monday without a price. A spokesperson for CIM declined to confirm the purchase price. The seller was CIM Group, which had owned the 463,000-square-foot complex since 2004.

The condo market is in a slump. The luxury sector is outperforming others. Sales are up in what one report defines as Miami Beach, yet down according to another analysis. Such headlines, especially in a slow market, can be confusing for buyers, brokers and builders. While there’s no shortage of residential market reports throughout the country, the results can often vary due to differences in methodology and data sources. TRD explored the key differences.  — Compiled by Alexi Friedman

Correction: The August 5, 2019 edition of The Daily Dirt provided an incorrect location for 304 Hudson Street. It’s in Hudson Square.

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