Greenvale-based Century 21 Laffey Associates has doubled the number of its agents in Jackson Heights by purchasing a competitor right down the street from one of its offices, said Emmett Laffey, chief executive of the firm.
For a six-figure sum, Laffey said, the firm finalized in December the acquisition of Century 21 House Depot, which was owned by brokers Pauline Conti and Anthony Conti and was on Northern Boulevard, near Laffey’s Coldwell Banker office.
Both sets of agents, about 45 total, will now be part of the Century 21 chain and located at House Depot’s premises. A grand opening is being planned for this month, Laffey said.
Laffey said his company had wanted to buy Century 21 House Depot for about two years, but it was only late last year that talks grew serious.
With offices already in Bellerose and Little Neck, the family-owned company now has a bigger hold on Queens, where Laffey said the market has been “consistent” and looking better these days.
“The low taxes are still driving big buyer demand,” Laffey said. “There’s very little downside left in Queens.”
Laffey’s Coldwell office in Jackson Heights is the same one in which two associate brokers, Barbara Armas and Nervin Coronado, were fired by Laffey, before the two were charged by federal authorities last year for allegedly defrauding lenders in an $13-million straw-buyer scheme. The case is pending, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
The person who helped broker the purchase for Laffey Associates is Julian Armas, according to the company's press release. Laffey said Julian Armas is related to Barbara Armas but did not know how.
Julian Armas is now the branch manager of the combined offices. He did not immediately return calls.