NEW YORK CITY-The New York office of Lee & Associates has formed a new affiliate company, Lee & Associates BQ|LI, to service the Queens and Nassau and Suffolk County markets in retail, industrial and office—both on investment sales and leasing—GlobeSt.com has learned EXCLUSIVELY.
Kelly Koukou is executive managing director of the new company and one of its principal owners. Bradley Diamond also joined the new company and serves as a managing director. Koukou came from CBRE, where he was a SVP in the Long Island office. Diamond was previously at Coldwell Banker Commercial, in Long Island’s Great Neck area, where he worked on office, retail, and industrial transactions. The two executives joined the firm together in mid-July.
The market on Long Island and in the surrounding areas is poised to grow, says Koukou. “The commercial market in Queens and Nassau is about 325 million square feet. I’ve been active in that market for about 20 years and have seen it grow and attract more and more New York City firms that want offices outside of the city, either as satellites or to move their operations and save on rent as they improve their facilities to more modern buildings, with infrastructure capable of handling their high-tech needs.”
James Wacht, president of Lee NYC, the Lee & Associates New York office, elaborates. “Many of the retailers we represent in Manhattan want locations in the outer boroughs and Long Island, and many of the landlords we represent in Manhattan own buildings on Long Island. The opportunity to increase our business base in both directions could not be passed up.”
The Lee & Associates model is unique in that each office is independently owned by a group of Lee broker-investors. Diamond says he and Koukou were attracted to the firm’s entrepreneurial model. “We both are excited about the opportunity Lee offers for us to help enhance its brand in a market where it’s less well known that Kelly and I know very well.”
And the firm isn’t ruling out expanding around New York City. “Now that we have Queens and Long Island, we are looking toward Brooklyn as the next frontier to conquer,” adds Wacht. “Our retail group is extremely active in Brooklyn and opening an office to handle Brooklyn retail and the growing office market in Long Island City and the outer boroughs is under serious discussion. Of course, we’ll continue building Long Island and add established brokers to that office as we move forward.”
The Long Island office of Lee & Associates will be run as an extension of the Lee NYC office, and brings the total number of Lee & Associates offices across the country to 50.