Forget the news that doyenne broker Alice Mason is downsizing. The social diarist David Patrick Columbia caused quite a stir this morning by writing that massive Corcoran (and the gentlemanly Edward Lee Cave) are both shuttering. He wrote that both companies’ top brokers are going to Brown Harris Stevens, which makes it easier to guess where the rumors might have come from.
"It’s not true–of course it’s not true. He doesn’t even know what he’s talking about," a Corcoran spokesperson just told The Observer about Mr. Columbia’s rumor of the brokerage’s demise. "He thinks Henry Silverman is still with the company." (Mr. Silverman, the founder and former CEO of Cendant Corporation, which bought Corcoran seven years ago, left relatively recently.)
CEO Pam Liebman got on the phone a moment later. "It’s all nonsense," she said. "There’s not an ounce of truth to it. Not an ounce of truth to it. And we’re going to have our attorneys do something about it." But what about the news from earlier this year that Corcoran parent Apollo Real Estate is having bond financing troubles? Ms. Liebman: "I say Corcoran Group is probably the strongest real estate group in New York and we’ll probably be the last one standing… Trying to tie Apollo bond refinancing issues to Corcoran is ridiculous."
Mr. Columbia did not immediately return an email asking for comment.
Meanwhile, there are indeed going to be changes to the corporate structure of Mr. Cave’s smaller corporation, though he also denied that his company is closing. "I’m just not quite as active as I used to be. For the corporation to go on smoothly and efficiently, some new ownership is totally appropriate," he said this morning.
Tomorrow’s Observer will have a fuller interview with the monogram-shirted broker.
Update: Mr. Columbia’s site has retracted the rumors.