The Real Deal New York

Harlem Lofts acquires local competitor, turns divisions into new firms

By Guelda Voien | September 01, 2012 07:00AM

A townhouse at 764 Saint Nicholas Avenue, converted to condos by Harlem Lofts.

In a bid to become Harlem’s largest redeveloper of townhouses, real estate services firm Harlem Lofts has acquired a local competitor.

Harlem Lofts last month hired Charlie Marcus, the developer of projects such as the 11-unit Ellington condo at 111 West 117th Street. Marcus will be offered an ownership stake in the Harlem Lofts redevelopment arm, which has been renamed Harlem Property Re+Development, explained Harlem Lofts president Robb Pair.

Pair said he and Marcus have long admired each other’s work. “I would go and spy on his projects, and he would spy on mine,” Pair said.

Harlem Lofts, developer of townhouse conversions such as the four-unit condo 764 Saint Nicholas Avenue, has made other organizational changes as well, separating its divisions into three distinct companies under the Harlem Lofts umbrella: Harlem Property Re+Development, Harlem Property Management and Harlem Real Estate, the brokerage arm. The brokerage and property management arms of the company will begin a “serious recruitment effort” after Labor Day, said Harlem Lofts chief operating officer Craig Rothfeld.

With the addition of Marcus’s book of business, Harlem Lofts hopes to significantly increase its market share. “In this case, the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts,” Rothfeld said.

Pair started redeveloping brownstones with Harlem Lofts in 1999, and added a brokerage arm to the company in 2008. He said the recent changes are part of his “vision” to become a sort of one-stop shop for clients, “the best choice in Harlem for real estate investors.”