Leases  ·  Office

Luxury Residential Brokerage The Agency Opening First NYC Office in Greenwich Village

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A Los Angeles-based luxury residential brokerage at the center of Netflix’s television series “Buying Beverly Hills” is opening its first New York City office in Greenwich Village, Commercial Observer has learned.

The Agency signed a 10-year lease for 8,551 square feet across the entire third floor of 88 University Place, with plans to open shop in March, according to a spokesperson for landlord Arch Companies

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Asking rents at the building range from $85 to $125 per square foot, the landlord said.

The Agency scored a foothold on the East Coast when it bought New York City-based real estate firm Triplemint in May, and plans to use the new office to host former Triplemint staffers and grow its business, with broker Molly Townsend leading the New York team, said The Agency founder Mauricio Umansky.

“I think there are tremendous opportunities in New York right now,” Umansky said. “We’re expanding and growing and taking on leases when everybody else is contracting, which I think gives us the opportunity for growth and to create something important in Manhattan.”

The Agency will take over the space from IBM, which leased the entire property through a deal with WeWork in 2017 only to ditch the building after the pandemic began in 2020. 

At the time, former WeWork CEO Adam Neumann owned a 50 percent stake in the 11-story property. A spokesperson for Arch declined to comment on whether Neumann is still involved, and a representative for Neumann did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Since IBM’s departure, a handful of companies linked to Neumann have taken space at the building between East 11th and East 12th streets. 

Currently leasing space at 88 University Place are mortgage provider Valon Technologies, which scored an investment from Neumann in 2021; Flowbcarbon the carbon offset company co-founded by Neumann; and Carson Living, Neumann’s residential property management app.

JLL (JLL)’s Sam Seiler, Joseph Sipala and Kristen Morgan represented Arch in The Agency’s lease. SavillsScott Bogetti handled it for the tenant.

“Our team is thrilled with the level of leasing activity since our initial launch,” Seiler said in a statement. “The overall design of the building and level of finishes speaks to what tenants are looking for in today’s market.”

That design, plus the property’s amenities and location, drew The Agency to 88 University Place “after an extensive search” for its New York base, Bogetti said in a statement.

Celia Young can be reached at cyoung@commercialobserver.com.