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Journey from a Phone Booth

New York
Journey from a Phone Booth
Colliers International's Jimmy Emden
After 35 years with CBRE and its predecessors, Jimmy Emden departed in June for Colliers International. He tells us working with Colliers NY Tri-State CEO Mark Jaccom is like working for Edward Gordon (who died in 2000) again-fast moving, warm, charitable, entrepreneurial, and fun. His first 18 months in real estate weren't with Eddie, though, and a bit more humble-he and older brother Jeffrey operated their first office as apartment brokers using a telephone booth outside of a Blimpie's on 21st and Third. They ran ads in The New York Times, listing the phone booth's number. Several years later, Jimmy was working for Edward S. Gordon Co. with seven other brokers. It was there he learned to canvass-Eddie would throw them out of the office at 9:30 a.m. and not let them back in until 4 p.m. The firm was later acquired by Insignia Financial, eventually becoming CBRE.
Colliers International's Jimmy Emden and Joe Caridi
Jimmy talks business with Colliers EVP Joe Caridi. As vice chairman, he's helping expand the firm's tenant rep division, as well as transacting leases, acquiring new business, and lending a hand to develop the firm's broker roster (and he says that the ESG system of canvassing is still essential for good business). After 35 years, moving to a different company has reenergized him, Jimmy tells us, giving him the chance to grow his career again. He's executed more than $500M in regional leases during his career, including Viacom's 450k SF lease at 1515 Broadway, Lantis Eyewear's 338 SF lease in Secaucus, and Omnicom's 300k SF lease at 220 E. 42nd St. But life's not all work for Jimmy-outside the office, he's involved in several charitable causes, and is an avid international traveler.