Johnston, Emmetsberger leave B6 for NYC newcomer

Nashville-based Matthews Real Estate launching New York office

B6 Veterans Leave For NYC CRE Newcomer

From left: DJ Johnston and Brock Emmetsberger (Getty, B6 Real Estate)

A group of B6 Real Estate veterans is decamping for an upstart commercial brokerage planting its flag in New York.

Dealmakers DJ Johnston and Brock Emmetsberger are joining Nashville-based Matthews Real Estate Investment Services to help launch its New York City office, The Real Deal has learned. Johnston and Emmetsberger will be joined by Cory Rosenthal, B6’s chief revenue officer, and about 4 or 5 other members of their brokerage team.

“New York is the highest barrier of entry market in the country, so you either go big or go home,” CEO and Chairman Kyle Matthews said in a prepared statement. “With Cory, DJ, and Brock, we went big, and I can’t wait for even more teammates to join soon.”

Company founder Kyle Matthews started his eponymous brokerage in 2015, and has grown it to include more than 700 employees in 22 offices across the country. The company launched a national expansion plan last year and in May announced it was opening a New York office at 575 Fifth Avenue. 

Johnston and Emmetsberger are the latest defections from Paul Massey’s B6, which is struggling financially. Massey acknowledged the departures and said B6 is moving forward.

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“It’s been a super challenging market and we’ve had some defections,” he said. “We’re open for business and focusing on moving ahead.”

Longtime broker Thomas Donovan left to join Meridian Capital Group. Donovan, along with Johnston, Emmetsberger and Rosenthal are all veterans of the former Massey Knakal Realty Services who followed Massey through the sale of his company to a stop at Cushman & Wakefield and eventually to B6.

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Center: Bob Knakal and Paul Massey. Clockwise from top left: Alfonso Holloman, Shimon Shkury, James Ventura, Ofer Cohen, Josh Lipton, Timothy King, Craig Waggner, James Nelson, Robert Shapiro, Thomas Donovan, Marco Lala, and David Simone
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Massey founded his company in 2018, but has since run into trouble. He owes roughly $2 million in federal, state and city taxes and is facing foreclosure on his Westchester home, according to court records previously reported by TRD. The city put a $32,000 lien on B6 in 2022, and the brokerage had to move out of its offices after falling behind on rent.

Massey in August told TRD that the slowdown in the commercial real estate market was the primary cause for the financial distress, and that he was confident it could get back into the black.