The Daily Dirt: Employees blame “toxic” team at Newmark Knight Frank for defectors

An analysis of New York's top real estate news

TRD NEW YORK /
Feb.February 28, 2020 01:00 PM
Jordan Roeschlaub and Dustin Stolly of Newmark Knight Frank (Roeschlaub and Stolly photo by Anuja Shakya, iStock)

Jordan Roeschlaub and Dustin Stolly of Newmark Knight Frank (Roeschlaub and Stolly photo by Anuja Shakya, iStock)

Several people are leaving Newmark Knight Frank’s top debt team. According to some, the group’s “toxic” working environment is to blame. Toxic, apparently, even by commercial real estate standards.

At least six people have recently left or plan to leave the team led by Dustin Stolly and Jordan Roeschlaub, Rich Bockmann reports.

All of the departing team members are junior and support Stolly and Roeschlaub, along with three senior managing directors. One of the junior members has left for a competitor, and five others have either exited or made plans to leave, sources told TRD. Current and former employees pointed to the team leaders, saying Stolly and Roeschlaub are verbally abusive and demean their subordinates.

“They’re constantly yelling and screaming. They’ll threaten you,” one person told TRD. “It’s a toxic place.”

The team has had some contentious departures in recent years. Back in 2018, the Newmark Knight Frank sued a former employee who left the Stolly-Roeschlaub team, accusing him of sending documents from the firm’s Dropbox account to his personal email before he left to steal business. The lawsuit was subsequently settled, as was a complaint filed against the team by a former member who alleged she discriminated against because of her age and race.

A state judge tossed a lawsuit challenging New York’s property tax system.

In 2018, Tax Equity Now New York lobbed a complaint against the city and state, alleging that the property tax system results in poorer communities being overtaxed, while the homes in the city’s wealthy neighborhoods are undervalued.

A state appeals court judge on Thursday, however, said his decision to dismiss the complaint was guided, in part, by the “deference we afford the legislature in the context of classifications made by complex tax laws,” Rich Bockmann reports. The judge found that a 6 percent cap on assessment increases for many homes doesn’t amount to “invidious discrimination.”

Last month, a city commission released a report with recommendations on how to reform the property tax system. TENNY was not impressed with the report. Earlier this week, state legislators expressed doubt that the system would be changed this year. Gov. Andrew Cuomo also indicated that he’s waiting on city officials to make the first move.

“The preliminary property tax commission report issued more than two weeks ago — after years of delay — coupled with recent comments from elected officials, make it very clear that the political will to change this system doesn’t exist and change will only come from the courts,” the group said Thursday. “We intend to appeal the court’s decision.”

What we’re thinking about: Who approached who in this strange Bill de Blasio-Billy Idol anti-idling campaign? Was Bill de Blasio just idly wondering what Idol was up to? Has Idol always idolized de Blasio? Did de Blasio’s idling SUV catch Idol’s attention? Send your conspiracy theories to [email protected].

CLOSING TIME

Residential: The priciest residential closing recorded Thursday was for a co-op unit at 85 Grand Street in Soho, at $7.9 million.

Commercial: The most expensive commercial closing of the day was for a development site at 1214 and 1238 East 14th Street in Midwood, at $18.1 million.

BREAKING GROUND

The largest new building filing of the day was for a 100,892-square-foot school at 70-25 47th Avenue in Woodside. Gadi Benhamo filed the permit application.

NEW TO THE MARKET

The priciest residential listing to hit the market was for a condo unit at 503 West 24th Street in West Chelsea, at $17.1 million. — Research by Mary Diduch

A thing we’ve learned…

When you file a second Chapter 11, it’s unofficially referred to as a “Chapter 22.” Thank you to Kevin Sun for providing this tidbit.

Elsewhere in New York

— A new documentary details the nearly 90-year history of Farrell’s Bar & Grill, Gothamist reports. “The goal is to tell a very human story, through the lens of this historic bar and the community that exists alongside it,” producer Rob Martin said.

— More than 100 people in Long Island are now being monitored for possible exposure to the coronavirus, the New York Post reports. So far, no one is exhibiting symptoms.

— The good news is that body camera footage has made it easier for the Civilian Complaint Review Board to confirm or debunk complaints against police officers. The bad news is that the NYPD is slow to hand over the footage, Politico New York reports. Since the body camera program began, the board has requested footage on more than 4,000 occasions, but only received it half the time, according to the new report.


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