Coldwell Banker launches Global Luxury brand in Gold Coast

Doug Fox and Coldwell Banker’s Global Luxury Office at 676 North Michigan Avenue

Coldwell Banker is rebranding its Gold Coast office to Coldwell Banker Global Luxury as the firm seeks a bigger piece of the luxury market in the tony neighborhood and elsewhere in the city.

The Global Luxury brokerage will operate out of Coldwell Banker’s offices at 676 North Michigan Avenue, which underwent a gut rehab for the rebranding, company officials said. It is the first Global Luxury sales office in Illinois.

Rebranding the Gold Coast office under the Global Luxury banner will allow the brokerages to bolster its luxury services in a city that saw a record year for $4-million-plus homes sales in 2018, said Ayoub Rabah, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Chicago.

“We’re really excited about the global luxury market,” Rabah said. “That’s why we decided to expand our presence in the luxury space. I believe it sets the standard for luxury, and it demonstrates our prominence in the industry.”

About 80 agents will work out of the Gold Coast office, and the brokerage is looking to add more, said Doug Fox, branch manager for the office. He said the agents will look to capitalize on the growing residential market Downtown, where buildings like No. 9 Walton, Vista Tower and One Bennett Park are adding hundreds of luxury condominiums.

“It’s raising the bar for the number of homes in that price point,” Fox said. “I think it’s a great opportunity.”

While other parts of the residential market have had their struggles recently, the luxury market has been strong.

At least 70 home sales of $4 million or more were recorded through the first 11 months of 2018. Half were recorded in Chicago, and 20 were recorded in Gold Coast’s No. 9 Walton alone.

The number of homes selling at $1 million or higher was up 19 percent through the third quarter of 2018.

In targeting the luxury market, the agents in the rebranded Coldwell Banker office will have to compete with one of their former colleagues: Jennifer Ames, one of the highest-performing residential brokers in the Chicago area, this week announced she left the brokerage to launch Chicago’s first outpost for German brokerage Engel & Volkers. Ames said her new venture will continue to target transactions averaging in the $1 million range.

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, part of New Jersey-based NRT, operates 50 offices in the Chicago area. The firm did $9.7 billion in sales in 2017, making it the top brokerage by volume in the Chicago area that year.

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