Top new dev team returns to Elliman from Compass

Stanton Hoch Team left for Compass two years ago

Wesley Stanton and Jordan Hoch (The Real Estate Production Network)
Wesley Stanton and Jordan Hoch (The Real Estate Production Network)

A top-performing team is heading back to Douglas Elliman, two years after defecting to Compass.

Joining Wesley Stanton and Jordan Hoch in their return to Elliman are team members Annie Osiecki, Catherine Slotnick and Alejandra Cata Posast. The Stanton Hoch Team grossed more than $100 million in sale side transactions last year and placed 40th in The Real Deal’s ranking of Manhattan’s top residential brokers.

Upon joining the brokerage, the team will focus on office to residential conversion projects.

“We’re working with [Elliman Executive Chairman Howard Lorber] on projects that we have in mind, as well as some projects he might have in mind,” Stanton said.

The idea of converting New York’s office space to residential units has been in vogue since work from home policies were established during the pandemic. While the residential market has hit new peaks since an exodus at the start of the pandemic, office buildings have struggled to find tenants.

The recovery of the city’s office market has been uneven across neighborhoods and property types, but largely driven by a flight to quality.

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“There’s a housing shortage in Manhattan and over the next couple years that shortage isn’t necessarily going to be solved so quickly, and that’s where new development comes in,” Stanton said.

Chris Schlank, founder and managing partner of Savanna Fund, has said premium, Class A offices will continue to find tenants, but drabbier Class C and B spaces are up for grabs.

“The bottom 20 [percent of office space] is going to be ripe for alternative use,” Schlank said at The Real Deal’s NYC Real Estate Showcase and Forum in May. “It’s going to be the middle 60 that I think about and I worry about.”

But developers say the city will need to bring back a defunct tax abatement initiative, known as 421-g, if large scale conversions are to happen. The abatement was enacted after 9/11 to encourage office to residential conversions in lower Manhattan but ended in 2006.

Hoch pointed to Dumbo, once an industrial neighborhood lined with warehouses and freight rail tracks, as an example of the kind of transformation areas of Manhattan could see.

“There’s going to be some buildings that the footprint is too deep and you’re not going to be able to effectively convert it,” Hoch said. “We see how Dumbo has been completely changed in the last 20 years and I think there’s sections of Manhattan where you can see amazing growth.”

A Compass representative wished the team well, saying in a statement the brokerage is looking “forward to continuing to work with them through our Compass agents throughout the greater Tri-State area.”