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Saturday, May 28, 2022

Real Estate Firm Sold on Retail

Visitors walking into the Santa Monica office of real estate firm Partners Trust might feel like they’re walking into a home, with its decorated living-room space and fully furnished kitchen.

The interior was designed as an experimental retail concept that opened last month called OpenHouse, featuring home furnishings and accessories by local designers. Partners Trust plans to use the space to host designer talks and events, said Nick Segal, chief executive and founding partner of the Beverly Hills residential sales firm.

“People walk in and say, What is this?” he said. “It gives us the opportunity to say, It’s our idea of real estate.”

The OpenHouse concept takes about 1,000 square feet of the company’s 1,800-square-foot office, but the company doesn’t make any extra cash from the shop, said Segal, 55.

New designers will be brought in every two to three months and can display their goods free of charge as long as 10 percent of sales are donated to the Partners Trust charitable fund, he said. The first month’s sales hit $5,000.

This month’s feature is an installation by Hermosa Design, a Hermosa Beach lifestyle and interior design store by Steve and Farnaz Reneker. The husband-and-wife team brought in items such as Scandinavian décor pieces, original art, and summertime barware.

Next month will feature looks from Mar Vista interior store Hangar, whose installation will last until the end of the year.

Segal said it’s been a fun experiment but not without some hiccups, such as forgetting to order bags.

“The first sale we made – we didn’t have any bags,” he said. “The guy bought these beautiful glasses and candlestick holder and we gave him a Ralphs shopping bag and said our bags are on order. So, that’s the experimental retail component.”

– Subrina Hudson

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