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The influx of real estate firms upsets the long-time brokers

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Oct. 17, 2014 By Michael Florio

The booming Astoria real estate market continues to draw real estate firms to the neighborhood.

Just three weeks after Modern Spaces opened its second office in Astoria, Highline Residential, a Manhattan-based real estate firm, said that it is opening its first location in the neighborhood in two weeks at 29-17 Ditmars Blvd.

This location will be the firm’s first in Queens. Currently, it has offices on 6th Avenue in Manhattan, one in Bedford–Stuyvesant and another in Prospect Heights.

Highline Residential comes to Astoria at a time when many large real estate firms have become active in the market. Several big Manhattan firms– such as Douglas Elliman, Nestseekers and the Corcoran Group–have developed a significant presence in Astoria.

However, the long-time Astoria brokers are not happy about it.

Ted Kouris, owner of Metropolis Realty (29-17 23rd Ave), has been operating in the Ditmars area for 29-years and thinks these firms are taking away business.

“It’s like anything, when there is too many of one business, everyone loses,” he said. “Eventually only a few will survive.”

However, he believes his business is not in any danger, since he has very deep connections.

Kouris said the market is hot in Astoria since many people are being priced out of Manhattan. However, he said while the market is hot now, it won’t last forever.

Kahn, the owner of Highline Residential, said the popular Astoria market was a large factor in his firm electing to open in the neighborhood.

“There’s no denying it’s a hot market,” he said. Furthermore, he added: “There’s a real family vibe here in the neighborhood that you don’t get in our other locations,” he said. “You can build a relationship with the community and we like that.”

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