HGAR Membership Overwhelmingly Approves Merger with Bronx Manhattan North Association
John Jordan | July 2020
WHITE PLAINS—The membership of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, Inc. that participated in a more than two-hour virtual Special Meeting today, overwhelmingly approved a merger agreement with the Bronx Manhattan-North Association of Realtors, Inc.
The more than 400 members who participated in the session, held via Zoom, also approved a number of bylaws amendments that were necessary to facilitate the merger, along with other changes, including codifying the association’s commitment to diversity.
The merger plan also calls for the creation of the Bronx Chapter of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, Inc., with a Chapter representative—Vincent Buccieri of Today Realty Corp. serving on the HGAR Board of Directors in accordance with the amended bylaws. Buccieri will serve as the Bronx Chapter representative until Dec. 31, 2020. Buccieri currently serves as the president of BMNAR. The merger is now subject to final due diligence by HGAR and must be approved by the National Association of Realtors, as well as the New York State Attorney General’s Office.
The membership of BMNAR unanimously approved the merger deal with HGAR in a virtual session via Zoom on Thursday, June 17.
The Board of Directors of HGAR and BMNAR previously approved the merger transaction in separate votes. The Board of Directors of HGAR also approved the proposed bylaws amendments.
BMNAR CEO Eliezer Rodriguez, who has led the organization since 2013, will join HGAR to assist with the expanded organization’s legislative advocacy agenda in the Bronx and New York City and the development of a stronger Commercial Investment Division.. Rodriguez, succeeded Nunzio Del Greco, RCE, who led BMNAR from 1983 through 2012.
BMNAR currently boasts approximately 200 Realtor members and affiliates. The merger deal with HGAR will also include the 31-member offices of the Bronx-Northern Manhattan Association of Realtors’ MLS, which will join OneKey MLS. When the deal is finalized, HGAR will have a membership of more than 12,000. The merger will increase HGAR’s territory to the entire borough of the Bronx and from 145th St. north in Manhattan, which now gives HGAR full coverage of the borough of Manhattan, according to HGAR Chief Executive Officer Richard Haggerty.
The merger transaction also involves the three-story BMNAR headquarters building at 1867 Williamsbridge Road. Haggerty said HGAR will house its Bronx operations there and may undertake some renovations to the property.
Prior to the respective merger and bylaws votes, members and the HGAR Executive Committee, staff and legal counsel John Dolgetta engaged in far-ranging question and answer sessions with members.
The participants approved the merger deal with 86% of the participants voting in favor of the merger.
The bylaws changes met with 89% of the participants’ approval.
HGAR President Fattizzi related that while discussions concerning a possible merger began more than two years ago, talks accelerated about eight or nine months ago, leading to the proposed agreement. She noted that some of the advantages to the transaction include bridging the geography of HGAR’s reach between Westchester and Central Manhattan, “joining forces for greater political and legislative advocacy, help with expanding our Commercial Investment Division, welcoming their loyal Affiliate members and bringing in new talent to our organization,” she said.
Haggerty added, “I could not be more excited about finally bringing this to fruition.” He noted that the deal will combine two organizations whose respective strengths meshed effectively.
He pointed out that the deal will strengthen HGAR’s legislative advocacy in terms of rent control and other key legislation in New York City.
“We really feel that this merger is bringing together two very strong organizations to create an even stronger organization,” he added.
HGAR Office to Reopen on July 6
CEO Haggerty advised that HGAR offices in White Plains and Goshen will reopen on Monday, July 6. Members who wish to meet with staff must do so by appointment only and must wear masks and adhere to social distancing protocols.
The White Plains and Goshen offices will initially be at 50% staffing levels on a rotating basis.
He also noted that for at least several months, classes run by HGAR’s Education Department will be presented on a virtual basis only via Zoom. Haggerty also praised HGAR’s Member Success Team that dealt with more than 15,000 inquiries during the shutdown.