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PODCAST: Ric Clark On Leaving Brookfield To Start WatermanClark, Contrarian Investing

Bisnow's audio series, Bisnow Reports, examines every facet of the international commercial real estate industry — from the murky future of retail and office to real estate’s reckoning with diversity to the effects of climate change on the built world, and so much more. You can subscribe on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon Music, or scroll down to listen in your browser.

Ric Clark

On this episode of Bisnow Reports, Ric Clark, the managing partner of WatermanClark and former chairman of Brookfield Properties, speaks about making bets on office as hybrid work throws doubt on its value.

Clark was at Brookfield in New York for more than 30 years, overseeing its rise to becoming the biggest office owner in the city. He stepped back from the chairman’s role at Brookfield in February 2020 and in November of that year announced the formation of WatermanClark, which is a joint venture with Todd Waterman.

Now, the firm is marking its first big undertaking with the revamp of Lever House, a joint project with Brookfield. The building was the headquarters for the soap company Lever Brothers, but today it sits vacant, and Brookfield and WatermanClark are spending $100M to upgrade it.

“I think one of the important fundamentals of successful real estate investing is to be able to separate temporary anomalies, or fads, from trends," he said on the podcast. “Covid hasn't stopped the world's population from growing or the world from urbanizing.”