Sign of the times? Retail brokerage Winick diversifies with investment sales division

Company taps former Savitt Partners exec to lead effort

Jeff Winick and David Workman
Jeff Winick and David Workman

Amid a downward spiral in brick-and-mortar, one of New York City’s best known retail-only brokerages is diversifying its business.

For the first time in its 35-year history, Winick Realty Group will have dedicated team for investment sales and office leasing advisory services, the company told The Real Deal. Winick has tapped David Workman, formerly a managing director at Savitt Partners, to lead the new division.

Workman’s team includes new hires Elana Tsyganko, who jumped from Nest Seekers International, and Max Kostikov, who was previously at Venture Capital Properties.

Workman, a former Newmark Knight Frank executive, joined Savitt in February 2015. His role at the company included listing investment properties for sale and structuring off market transactions, he said. His deals there included the sale of a trio of adjacent residential and commercial buildings at 80-90 Livingston Street in Downtown Brooklyn to Kahen Properties for $23.2 million in 2015.

“Savitt is known as a very established management firm — but to go back to a real full scale brokerage firm was back to my knitting,” he told TRD.

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The move comes as Manhattan’s retail market plunges after years of frenzied growth — spelling less business and sparse commissions for retail brokers.

Norman Bobrow, founder of the eponymous Manhattan-based commercial brokerage, told TRD in December that times were tough for retail brokers. “I discourage all brokers in my office to work in retail unless they have an exclusive,” he said. “It is not the place to be in.”

Average asking rents per square foot for ground floor retail space declined year-over-year in 14 of the 17 priciest corridors, according to a spring report by the Real Estate Board of New York.

Winick founder Jeff Winick declined to be interviewed on the reasons for the move.

But his firm has been venturing out of its comfort zone in search of new business of late. It expanded outside the tri-state area for the first time in December with a partnership with seven-year-old Miami Beach brokerage Avenue Real Estate Partners. They are partnering on exclusives in the South Florida market.