New Oak Park office for longtime River Forest real estate firm
Tom Poulos (left) and Andy Gagliardo are excited about their new Gagliardo Realty Associates office in Oak Park, which is opening Jan. 2. | Photo courtesy Meredith Morris
Updated: January 21, 2013 2:43PM
OAK PARK — “Poised for growth” is how Andy Gagliardo and Tom Poulos describe their business, Gagliardo Realty Associates, as it opens a new satellite office at 1033 South Blvd. in Oak Park.
When that office opens Jan. 2, the River Forest-based company will become the sole local real estate company to have an office in both towns, Poulos said.
“We anticipate the real estate market improving in the years to come. We see things ticking up and we’re being proactive,” he said. “We’ll be positioned well when things begin to take off again.”
Both Poulos and Gagliardo have longstanding residential real estate experience in the community. Gagliardo’s father and grandmother launched Gagliardo Realty in River Forest in 1958, and Poulos’ mother established Bess Poulos Realty in the 1960s.
“They were two pioneers, his mother and my grandmother,” Gagliardo said.
In 1998 Poulos established Prudential Premier Realty in Oak Park, which he merged with Gagliardo last October to form Gagliardo Realty Associates, headquartered at Gagliardo’s office, 7375 W. North Ave. in River Forest.
Gagliardo and Poulos, both River Forest residents, look forward to opening in Oak Park.
“We kind of got pigeon-holed in River Forest,” Gagliardo said. “Merging our companies, we want to make a bigger presence in Oak Park.”
Searching for a new office location, the partners toured extensively and found that the more they visited the space they now occupy, the more they became committed to it.
“You can’t look at this space and not like it,” Gagliardo said.
The new office occupies a 700-square-foot first-floor storefront and slightly smaller second floor space, plus common areas, in a historic 1920s E.E. Roberts building built as an indoor mall. Airy and alive with natural light, Poulos and Gagliardo see it as a comfortable location for real estate agents and clients to meet.
Their agents seem to agree. Laurie Shapiro, a Realtor from Oak Park, has worked for Poulos for seven years. She anticipates outstanding conference facilities in the new space, she said, and having an office closer to home.
“I’m excited to have a new office in a historic building and a great location,” she said. “It’s impressive. It’s unique.”
Indeed, Shapiro added that last fall’s merge that created Gagliardo Realty Associates has been “seamless.”
“The people in both offices are really great. There’s so much experience, it’s great to kick ideas around with each other,” she said.
In Oak Park, the new office offers desk space for up to 15 brokers, Poulos said. The company’s 40-plus agents will share desks and be encouraged to use both the River Forest and Oak Park sites.
“The real estate business is different today. It’s not like you have 40 agents and 40 desks. We now have mobile agents,” he explained, with new technologies that allow real estate agents to work from home or other places.
“Our agents and their clients will benefit. We are committed to being the best independent real estate company in the business, not the biggest,” he said.
The company should benefit too, Gagliardo added, from the new office’s visibility near the recently refurbished stretch of Marion St. and exposure to CTA Green Line riders.
“We sought out this part of town,” he said. “I tease my kids that this is the hip and cool part of Oak Park.”