Douglas Elliman is planning to more than double the size of its new development division in California and expand to San Francisco, according to Susan de França, the CEO of the brokerage’s new development division.
Elliman tapped Cory Weiss, who spent the last 18 months working on new development for Elliman in New York and Florida, to lead the expansion. He was promoted to become president of new development marketing for the West Coast.
Weiss, who has relocated to L.A., is expected to announce Elliman’s first San Francisco project within the next six months, according to the firm. For now, Elliman’s presence in San Francisco will be limited to new development, de França said.
“There’s just not enough turnover of properties” to justify a resale presence, she said.
Elliman debuted on the west coast in 2013 after securing an assignment to market Metropolis, Greenland Holdings’ $1 billion, three-tower condo project with 1,500 condo units in Downtown L.A. It’s since secured other projects using its New York contacts, including the Edition Hotel condos by New York developer Steve Witkoff in West Hollywood. Weiss said he expects the West Coast new development team to expand to about 20 people over the next few months.
Since 2013, L.A.’s condo market has matured, thanks in part to demand from foreign buyers, and more brokerages have sought a piece of the action. Partners Trust recently launched a new development division, and Compass and the Agency have also been pitching for new projects and vying for top talent.
The Agency recently lost the exclusive assignment to market the 504-unit Oceanwide Plaza condo complex downtown after the managing director of its new development division, Hana Cha, was poached by Compass. The Mark Company, a subsidiary of Pacific Union International, then secured the assignment.
Weiss joined Elliman in 2013, after a 15-year-plus career in brokerage including a stint at Berkshire Hathaway, where he helped launch the Fine Homes and Estates division.
Elliman’s New York contacts have also led it to San Francisco, where it plans to launch with a project by a New York developer, Weiss said, though he declined to name the developer or the project.