Dennis Mangone: ‘I Was Not Fired’ by Corcoran; Corcoran Disagrees

dennis1 Dennis Mangone: I Was Not Fired by Corcoran; Corcoran DisagreesFor some reason, when big brokers leave one brokerage for another, it can be a minor event in the little world of high-end Manhattan real estate. (For example, according to the writer Steven Gaines, when Michael Shvo left Prudential Douglas Elliman–because of what was essentially a fight over an annual award with his former mentor, Dolly Lenz–Ms. Lenz publicly told Elliman’s chief during dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel: “So let him fucking quit.”)

Both Mr. Shvo and Ms. Lenz have had a spectacular knack for becoming objects of fascination–sometimes more fascinating than the properties they represent–and, to a slightly lesser extent, the same is true about Dennis Mangone.

For some reason, when big brokers leave one brokerage for another, it can be a minor event in the little world of high-end Manhattan real estate. (For example, according to the writer Steven Gaines, when Michael Shvo left Prudential Douglas Elliman–because of what was essentially a fight over an annual award with his former mentor, Dolly Lenz–Ms. Lenz publicly told Elliman’s chief during dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel: “So let him fucking quit.”)

Both Mr. Shvo and Ms. Lenz have had a spectacular knack for becoming objects of fascination–sometimes more fascinating than the properties they represent–and, to a slightly lesser extent, the same is true about Dennis Mangone.

Mr. Mangone made his name through shiny condo deals with clients like Beyonce Knowles and Ricky Martin. “When Dennis Mangone enters the lavish restaurant in the new Time Warner Center, he’s treated like a celebrity: The waiters know him by name, and the host leads him to one of the best seats in the house, with breathtaking views of Central Park and near a famous movie director who’s eating breakfast,” the beginning of a 2006 Boston Globe power-broker article went. “Wearing a designer suit and with his hair slicked back, the Bronx native moves with the ease of someone who’s comfortable around the rich and the famous. Then again, he should be: Mangone has not only sold a number of apartments in the glitzy building, where condos fetch millions of dollars, he has bought a place there himself.” The Times has mentioned his Porsche.

So it was suprising when Mr. Mangone recently emailed to say he had left Corcoran, where he was a senior vice president, for Brown Harris Stevens, a smaller but more chic firm.

“I’m very excited about the next chapter. I think I’m going to do great things at Brown Harris,” he said during a phone call. “Change. It’s all about change. I want to work a little bit differently, maybe I want to focus on collectors, art collectors, a certain segment of the condo market at a certain price point.” He pointed out that he’s recently been to London’s Frieze Art Fair, Art Basel in Miami and the Venice Biennale.

Why did he leave Corcoran? He said he had talked to Brown Harris president Hall Wilkie as long ago as December 2007 about joining. But had he been fired? “No,” he said. “I was not fired.”

A day later, a well-placed source at Corcoran told The Observer otherwise. “Dennis Mangone was terminated. We let him go. And then he chose to go to Brown Harris.” When asked why he was let go, the source would only say, “It’s not important.

The Observer called Mr. Mangone back today to ask about the discrepancy. He did not return messages. Later, a spokesperson for Brown Harris Stevens provided this sentence: “He cherishes his relationship with his former employer, and it’s absolutely not true that he was fired.”

This is not the first time that Mr. Mangone has made news. Four years ago, he put himself on a 24-foot-wide billboard for 505 Greenwich Street. “When I came to Corcoran, I wanted to be a brand within a brand,” he said then. “This billboard was a way to draw a line in the sand. I really wanted to be associated with an address where I had sold 10 percent of the building.” Later, Corcoran’s chief executive said the billboard had not been approved by Corcoran. Of his sales claim she said, “That assertion was false. Mr. Mangone had no authority to make such a claim about the condo at 505 Greenwich, nor does he have access to the information about the building’s size that would enable him to gauge its veracity, as he is not an authorized representative of the building for Corcoran or its sponsor.”

Billboard aside, Mr. Mangone’s switch from Corcoran to Brown Harris comes at a particularly sensitive time. Last month, David Patrick Columbia’s Web site reported that Corcoran would be closing–with its biggest producers going to Brown Harris. The report was quickly retracted.