Compass opened a new office on Palm Beach’s ritzy Worth Avenue.
The brokerage moved across town from its first island office at 220 Sunrise Avenue to a 3,400-square-foot space that will serve as home base to more than 100 agents, according to a press release. Jeff Dono is heading the office at 150 Worth Avenue, the release shows.
Dono said his team found the space off-market, and pounced. After securing an extension from the town of Palm Beach to continue construction into the winter busy season, Compass was able to complete the office’s renovation in seven months, instead of the expected year-long process.
“It’s a miracle, this was a concrete shell,” Dono said, gesturing at the newly finished digs. Compass signed a 10-year lease for the space, which Dono said reflects a deep commitment to an increasingly competitive market.
“Agents feel comfortable bringing their high net worth clients in here,” he said.
The pandemic transformed Palm Beach’s luxury market, resetting prices and demand to unprecedented heights. Despite a slowdown over the past year, price growth has continued to climb, and record deals keep closing. The metamorphosis means brokerages are upping the ante to ensure they keep their footing in the market. Dono said already the new office has “100 percent” helped with recruiting agents.
While some possible additions are still in the works, one new face in the Worth Avenue office is Kristina McPherson, who jumped from the Corcoran Group to Compass. McPherson brings with her the $35 million listing for the house at 150 El Vedado Road in Palm Beach, which Alden Global Capital co-founder Randy Smith sold for $23 million in January of last year.
The new Palm Beach office follows two Compass office openings in April, one in Weston and one in Palm Beach Gardens, and the acquisition of a title company in Fort Lauderdale in January.
“For Palm Beach County our goal overall is to ensure that we’re in all the major hubs,” said Jeff Polashuk, regional vice president for Compass in Florida.
It’s been a challenging few years for the brokerage. It achieved cash flow positivity for the first time in the second and third quarters of last year, but its third quarter earnings report showed it was unlikely to sustain that into the next year. CEO Robert Reffkin also gave up $25 million in performance-based restricted stock awards for a $7 million cash bonus in December. That same month, Compass also chopped its chief operating officer role, after eliminating the chief technology officer and chief people officer in 2022.