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October 2, 2008



Brookfield Properties is chugging along with its gargantuan 5.4M SF Manhattan West mixed-use development, set to rise on one of the last available plots of land in Midtown—one that happens to fall partially over train tracks. But since you can’t exactly build two major office towers and a hotel in the path of locomotives, the firm is working with Amtrak and the LIRR to build a massive deck over the portion of the West Side rail yard adjacent to Farley Post Office (the future Moynihan Station). We went downtown to visit Brookfield US prez Dennis Friedrich for the latest.


The SOM-designed project falls among a slew of announced office space, including the new World Trade Center and neighboring Hudson Yards. But Dennis tells us that if they keep on pace and proceed with the deck, Brookfield can be on track to deliver the space in 2013. That’ll be two or three years ahead of competitors.


Dennis says three key factors give the project a boost: the current real estate cycle, though troubled, features no office overbuilding; built-out Midtown needs this logical extension; and Governor Patterson has voiced support for improving the area’s transportation structure, specifically the Moynihan Station development, which would enhance the Brookfield play. The firm is also in leasing chatter with Condé Nast Publications, which is on the ground with a 1.2-MSF requirement (we imagine the media giant wants to surpass the nouveau-iconic Hearst Tower). Not that Brookfield has a problem with tenancy: it boasts only a 2% vacancy in its entire Manhattan portfolio.


Manhattan West is the largest project for Brookfield’s ever-growing development platform, which includes Toronto’s Bay Adelaide Center, Calgary’s Herald Block and Washington D.C.’s 77 K Street, 1225 Connecticut and Two Reston Crescent. Manhattan West will take its place on Brookfield’s trophy shelf with its best known properties—One, Two, Three, and Four World Financial Center.


Ladies, be prepared to cry, faint, twist and shout. Dennis is not only a top real estate maven, but a rock guitarist. He recently had the honor of playing “Eight Days a Week” with the faux John, Paul, George and Ringo of tribute band Beatlemania—sans the mop-top.

Leo A Daly
Arent Fox
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