Piquet Realty Buys Portman Realty in New York
- Apr 11, 2014
Piquet Realty, a Florida-based luxury real estate company specializing in foreign investors, has expanded its presence in New York City with the acquisition of Portman Realty, Inc. The deal includes Portman Realty Management, which manages more than 1 million square feet of space in New York City.
The purchase price was not released. Cristiano Piquet, who founded his firm in 2008, will continue as president & CEO. Benjamin Benalloul, former president of Portman Realty, will be vice president of Piquet Realty. He will work with Piquet on business development and client service.
Benalloul’s firm, created in 2010, has some of New York’s top listings, including a 12,000-square-foot Upper East Side townhouse owned by billionaire Alexander Rovt. The firm also had listings for a prime commercial building on Water Street and properties in Long Island City.
Thirty Portman agents and 10 Portman property managers are joining Piquet Realty. The joint company now has more than 100 agents, according to Piquet.
Piquet said the firm has had a “modest Manhattan presence” for the past several years but was focused more on building the brand in Miami.
“We now feel that with this acquisition, the time was right to expand our footprint in this important marketplace,” he told Commercial Property Executive. “We seized the opportunity to merge with Portman Realty, Inc. and utilize Benjamin Benalloul’s expertise.”
Benalloul said the decision to become part of the Piquet brand was primarily due to the firm’s reputation as a top-of-the-line broker.
“I also witnessed the incredible demand of South American investors flooding into the Miami and New York markets, paired with the strategic collaboration between talents at the two brokerages,” he told CPE. “Cristiano’s strong ties to Miami developers and Brazilian investors, paired with my expertise of working with the “who’s who of New York” in real estate, has created the perfect combination for an expansion of Piquet Realty’s foothold on the New York marketplace.”
Piquet Realty is known for its work with international buyers, particularly Brazilian investors. Piquet said the firm has a team, including sales, concierge and legal staff, that speaks Portuguese to help Brazilian clients.
“The returns in the United States are currently at a much more attractive price point than those in Brazil,” Piquet added. “As a result, these clients are willing to invest several hundred million dollars in real estate assets.”
Piquet said he expects expansion to occur in both the residential and commercial markets in New York City.
Asked whether he would consider expanding elsewhere in the U.S., Piquet said, “At this time, we feel we are in the right U.S. locations. The offices in Miami, Orlando and New York best serve our existing base of loyal clients, as well as those clients we are targeting.”
But Piquet concludedif the firm’s client base want to invest in other locations, such as Los Angeles, “we would be happy to engage in discussions about expanding.”