Turnberry’s Bay Harbor Islands team changes flags to Douglas Elliman

Bonnie Brooks and Ilene Tessler
Bonnie Brooks and Ilene Tessler

Continuing its aggressive South Florida expansion, Douglas Elliman just swallowed up Turnberry International Realty’s office in Bay Harbor Islands, taking over both the lease and the location’s sales team.

The brokerage announced Thursday that the Turnberry team of Bonnie Brooks and Ilene Tessler, along with four other associates, were switching sides to Elliman.

Turnberry’s newly expired lease for its roughly 1,100-square-foot office at 1021 Kane Concourse was also taken over by Elliman, which brings the total number of the brokerage’s locations in South Florida to 18.

Turnberry Broker Seth Kaufman told The Real Deal that Brooks and Tessler had discussed leaving the firm for some time in search of a larger company with a more national scope.

“We’re sad to see them go but only wish them the best,” Kaufman said. Six other staff members based out of the office are also in flux, he said, trying to decide which brokerage to side with. As of Thursday, employees at the office were answering the phone as Douglas Elliman.

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The shift leaves Turnberry with roughly 100 agents and two locations: a headquarters in Aventura, as well as a sales kiosk within the Aventura Mall. Kaufman said his firm is actively looking for new expansion opportunities and plans on moving its headquarters to a newer space within the Aventura ParkSquare development when it opens.

A request for comment to Jay Parker, CEO of Elliman’s Florida division, was not immediately returned.

Elliman has been aggressively expanding its presence in South Florida over the past two years, opening new offices and hiring away heavy hitters like Eloy Carmenate to bolster its market share.

Similarly, Brown Harris Stevens has gone on a brokerage buying spree this year, first acquiring Mark Zilbert’s Zilbert International Realty as well as boutique firms on Key Biscayne and in Palm Beach County.

For this latest deal, Elliman has gained a foothold in the rapidly redeveloping Bay Harbor neighborhood, which is seeing a wave of new condominium projects and rising property values.