Bond New York is closing its Chelsea outpost amid “management changes.”
Co-founder Bruno Ricciotti said the closure of the firm’s 4,400-square-foot Chelsea sales office was part of a longer-term plan to consolidate into its new Midtown headquarters.
“It’s always been a small underutilized office,” he said in an emailed statement. “We have considered consolidating the operations of this office for years, our agents were aware of this and we decided it was finally time.”
Bond told agents two weeks ago they could move to their pick of company’s other four offices, according to four agents. Within the last year, Bond opened its 14,000-square-foot headquarters as well as an Upper East Side office. Ricciotti said he has no plans to close its other locations, which include offices in Union Square and Upper Manhattan.
Lee & Associates is marketing Bond’s former Chelsea office at 64 West 21st Street with an asking rent of $20,000 per month. Peter Braus, who has the listing, said in an email that, “Bond leaving doesn’t seem to be rent-related but more strategic on their part.”
When reached by phone, Douglas Wagner, Bond’s brokerage services manager, said the firm was making “management changes,” but declined to confirm the office closure or elaborate further.
Ricciotti later explained the changes were that the former Chelsea officer manager and administrator will be moving to new roles.
The closure comes as rental firms, including Bond, say the state’s new rent laws are eating into bottom lines.
Last month, brokerage heads told The Real Deal that a new $20 cap on renters’ application fees was putting pressure on revenue for their firms. At the time, Wagner said application fees weren’t a huge revenue source, “but it’s income that we rely on and now we don’t have.”
“In some cases, it actually ends up putting us in the negative,” he said.
Ricciotti denied the rent laws have any connection to the office consolidation.
“Rentals has been remarkably resilient. Fortunately, we have tons of exclusive inventory,” he noted.
One Bond agent, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, attributed Friday’s office closure in part to the application fee cap.
“It’s a new terrain and this company tends to be very proactive. They’re smart,” the person said. “People are just now starting to feel the new changes.”
But one brokerage head, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they had been fielding calls from Bond agents inquiring about new jobs over the past two weeks.
Ricciotti acknowledged in a brief call that agents were concerned, but attributed that to TRD’s inquiries about its Chelsea office closing. In his emailed statement, he expressed surprise and said no services to agents are changing.
Write to Erin Hudson at [email protected]