In making that shift, he essentially started his own business. He now has three full-time people under his charge during a period that he believes has become one of the most active in the Brooklyn marketplace in recent memory.
“I am calling 2012 ‘The Great Sell-Off of 2012’ because the volume in the market is 1½ percent,” he said. “In an average year [like] ’04, ’05 and ’06, it was 2½ percent. So it’s not even a function that there’s more deals, but what’s got me taken and why I’m calling it ‘The Sell-Off of 2012’ is the ferocity of people buying and selling.”
The draw for Brooklyn is the borough itself, he says, and not the so-called residual value that will be created by the impending debut of Ohio-based developer Forest City Ratner’s Atlantic Yards Development, which other brokers and developers have been boasting about ever since the Barclays Center broke ground in 2010.
“I think that’s hogwash,” he said of the shared benefits of the Atlantic Yards development on residential real estate. “I don’t think it’s going to affect residential rates at all. You can argue that it could decrease rents.”
“It has sort of insulated and propped up the retail in the surrounding corridors that were trying to find their identity,” Mr. Palmese said. “So yes, it has had a positive effect for retail, but I think it has a negative effect on residential.”
Despite being an Italian who was raised Catholic, he has been an active board member of the Jewish Children’s Museum and the Museum of Jewish Heritage. Meanwhile, his distinctly Mediterranean appearance helps him pass as either a Greek or Israeli national to his clients.
“In the Greek community, and largely, I was ‘Stavros Palmesolopis,’” he said with a laugh. “With the Jewish community, I am ‘Stefan Palmis.’”
Whatever the ethnic background, Mr. Palmese’s work has made an impression on his company’s co-founder.
“Stephen is certainly the next generation of superstar sales brokers in the city,” said Robert Knakal, chairman of Massey Knakal. “He is tenacious, he has tremendous integrity and he understands the business.”
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