October 21st 2013
The Real Deal
Warburg Realty is preparing to make the big jump across the river and open its first Brooklyn location – though the specifics have yet to be nailed down, the residential brokerage’s president, Frederick Peters, told The Real Deal.
The firm is looking at buying a smaller, local brokerage – a tack other firms, such as Halstead Property, have taken – or setting up shop independently, Peters said. The hope is to have a Brooklyn outpost up and running by the first quarter of 2014.
“Why now? When everybody else has already done it?” Peters asked rhetorically. “For us it’s just a question of the fact that we find we are doing more and more business there. It seems clear the opportunities for growth there are enormous.”
Peters wouldn’t say what firms Warburg has looked at for potential mergers, but there was one fact he was adamant to affirm: the new office won’t be on Montague Street.
“It’s just real estate row,” he said of the street, where Douglas Elliman and the Corcoran Group have offices, and where Warburg was rumored to be prepping to set up offices as early as 2004. That never happened, although Peters said he mulled it for some time.
“The time that I was last looking at this was 2007 — and then 2008 happened,” he said, referring to the advent of the financial crisis and recession that followed.
This time around the decision is final, however.
“I am looking to open a Brooklyn office. I am considering all the options.”
Peters also said the firm was looking further into the borough than Brooklyn Heights, though he has nothing against the stately nabe.
“I think being deeper into the borough… will be more opportunistic,” he said, noting that the firm would like to be able to serve Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Prospect Heights and Fort Greene.
“I am kind of in love with Fort Greene at the moment,” he quipped.
Elliman currently has five offices in Brooklyn, as does Corcoran. Earlier this year, Halstead Property bought local boutique firm Aguayo Real Estate Group, based in Carroll Gardens, bringing its borough-wide presence up to five as well. Stribling & Associates has one Brooklyn office.