Koniver Stern founders split, Lyle Stern launches new brokerage 

Stern, Michael Sullivan and Noah Fox opened Vertical Real Estate in Miami Beach

Vertical Real Estate's Lyle Stern, Michael Sullivan and Noah Fox
Vertical Real Estate's Lyle Stern, Michael Sullivan and Noah Fox (Vertical Real Estate, Getty)

Lyle Stern and Bruce Koniver, who founded and ran commercial real estate firm Koniver Stern for over 30 years, are going their separate ways. 

Each is starting his own brokerage, according to Stern, who launched Vertical Real Estate with co-founders Michael Sullivan and Noah Fox, former Koniver Stern executives.

“It happens in law firms, accounting firms. Once you are in business for over 30 years, you eventually have to ask yourself, ‘What is the next step? What is the next generation of your business?” Stern said. “Sometimes, that involves embarking on different strategies.”

Koniver Stern officially ended on Jan. 1, according to Stern, who revealed his new firm on Wednesday. 

Koniver is also launching a new brokerage, Stern said. But details aren’t clear. Koniver didn’t immediately return a request for comment. 

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Miami Beach-based Vertical Real Estate opened an office at 1665 Washington Avenue for its 10-member team, according to a news release. Aside from Fox and Sullivan, others from Koniver Stern joining Vertical are Michael Finkle, Kerry Newman, Arthur Shifrin, Robin Weiner, Sara Wolfe and Sam Singer. Riley Whitman is also joining Vertical — the only one who was not previously with Koniver Stern. 

Vertical will focus on retail leasing and will provide consultancy to retail developers in South Florida, Stern said. It is also in talks with potential office clients seeking to move to the tri-county region. 

The brokerage’s client roster includes tenants Whole Foods, Sweetgreen, Meat Market, Sant Ambroeus, The Salty, The Puttery; and landlords 13th Floor Investments, Pebb Capital and Witkoff Group, according to the release. All were formerly Koniver Stern’s clients. 

“No one really owns a client. Clients go to those they have a relationship with,” Stern said. 

Vertical is leasing properties that include office project Eighteen Sunset in Sunset Harbour, The Wynwood Plaza and The Plaza Coral Gables. 

Vertical’s Miami Beach office is owned by investor and developer Michael Shvo, who has been buying and proposing office projects in the city. Records show an affiliate of his New York-based Shvo firm paid $4.5 million for the three-story building last year.