Brookfield Place Leasing Is Road Runner Fast
Tenants are in talks for more than half the 550k SF of office space that JLL is marketing at the 8M SF Brookfield Place, one of the major blocks of new office to deliver Downtown since 9/11, or in this case like new thanks to a $250M renovation.
We snapped JLL's Downtown guys, Michael Berman and John Wheeler, in their 140 Broadway office on Friday with Winston Churchill (who told us, "Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy, and we have some great floorplates available"). They were in charge of leasing at 200 Liberty and 200 Vesey and in August won the assignment to lease Brookfield Place's 225 Liberty and 250 Vesey, as well (not to mention the Institute of Culinary Education's 71k SF lease that Brookfield's David Cheikin just completed). They tell us they have three leases totaling 60k SF out and are trading paper on another 300k. The pair had worked for JLL together before, from '92 to '97. John moved on to C&W and Michael joined the owner side (EOP, Brookfield, Reckson, Gramercy Capital, and Silverstein). Now both have landed back at JLL, helming its newly re-established Downtown office along with JLL vet Mike Shenot.
They tell us the value-play leases are the most active. What rented around low $30/SF 18 months ago is now in the mid to upper $30s. For example, at Silverstein's 1.8M SF 120 Broadway, the Equitable Building, rents have risen from $32/SF to as high as $38/SF, thanks to refugees from Midtown South and institutions trying to lock in value before rents rise even more. The top-of-the-market properties with big blocks haven't appreciated like that yet (though small to mid-size tenants are leasing in Class-A, too). Proximity to transit like the Calatrava-designed PATH station at the WTC that we snapped above, which connects to the subway at both Brookfield Place and Fulton Center, has turned out to be as significant a demand driver. In fact, transit access drives demand much like modernized space, water views, and a the diversity of the submarket, Michael says. (Never underestimate the power of a quick getaway.)
And the heightened interest in such properties carries over to sales. William Street is especially popular, they tell us. 123 William just sold out of special servicing, 156 is in play, and 100 (above) and 110 are on the market. Of course, big-ticket sales aren't ruled out either; see The Deal Sheet below for info on Friday's One Chase Manhattan Plaza sale.
Here's a "sign" from 7-Eleven on John Street that Downtown truly has become an in-demand, 24/7 submarket.