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Mentioned in this Article:
Stephen G. Kliegerman

Stephen G. Kliegerman
President of Development Marketing

Alan J. Kersner

Alan J. Kersner
Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President, and Treasurer
Terra Holdings

Wall Street Journal

Sales Executive Switches To Elliman

By JOSH BARBANEL

Even as the Manhattan real-estate market remains in recovery mode, residential brokers are rushing to position themselves for a rebound.

On Wednesday, Prudential Douglas Elliman, the largest real-estate brokerage in Manhattan, said that it had lured a top marketing executive at Related Cos. to head up an expanded development team.

Susan M. de França, president of Related Sales, said that she will take over in September as president of Prudential Douglas Elliman Developments, becoming a senior member of Elliman's management.

Ms. de França, an expert on luxury apartment sales, was hired by Related a decade ago as it was planning the twin residential towers at the Time Warner Center. She led sales and marketing campaigns for more than $3 billion in luxury condo developments in New York, Boston and Los Angeles, including the Superior Ink project in the West Village.

"There is plenty of new development to support the great brokerage companies that are out there," she said, adding that it was "a time for new growth in real estate."

Earlier this month, another industry marketing executive, Stephen G. Kliegerman, the director of Halstead Property Marketing, was given expanded authority over new developments at a Halstead sister company, Brown Harris Stevens, as well.

At the time, Alan Kersner, chief operating officer of Terra Holdings, the parent of both firms, said that with the "new development market on the rise" both brokerages were "poised to increase their market share significantly."

The evidence remains fragmentary that the industry is about to see a big bounce in development projects. There are few new building permits being issued, and projects stalled during the downturn are still in the process of coming back to life as part of the recovery.

Jonathan Miller, an appraiser and president of Miller Samuel Inc., said that though there is a lot more interest in new developments, the commercial banking system is still reluctant to provide financing.

"You are seeing some of the wheels turn, but you are not seeing any results yet," he said.

But Howard Lorber, the chairman of Prudential Douglas Elliman, said that has changed. "We have a lot of things on our plate, a ton of new projects coming on line," he said. Mr. Lorber declined to provide any details for projects with signed deals that would happen in 2012, except to say the list included a very large downtown project that will begin marketing next spring.

Other executives said they expected an upswing in condominium conversions of rental buildings in the next few years as well, now that rent regulation rules have been tightened with the passage of new legislation in Albany.

The previous head of Elliman's marketing team, Andrew Gerringer, left In April 2010, and hadn't been replaced until the naming of Ms. de França, Mr. Lorber said.

Prudential Douglas Elliman during the last few years has lost control of sales at number of high profile development projects, such as Manhattan House and the Apthorp. But Mr. Lorber said they picked up a list of others represented by other firms as well, including 100 Eleventh Ave. and the TriBeCa Summit.

Thursday, June 30, 2011