REITWeek Report: Brookfield Details 15 MSF Pipeline
- Jun 09, 2011
June 8, 2011
By Paul Rosta, Senior Editor
Two days after announcing a flurry of executive promotions and appointments, Brookfield Office Properties Inc. executives followed up on Wednesday by previewing its next phase of investment and development plans at the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trust’s annual REITWeek conference in New York City.
Brookfield Office Properties CEO Ric Clark indicated that the company will be stepping up its investment activity during the second half of 2011. “We see enough investment opportunities that it seems to make sense to trade out of our fully leased properties,” he told an audience Wednesday morning at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. The company is eying value-added plays in such markets as Washington, D.C., and Houston, Clark noted.
On the development front, Clark cited a pipeline that encompasses upwards of 15 million square feet. Highlights of Brookfield’s planned projects include several without shouting distance of the NAREIT conference itself. Next year, the company expects construction to start on Manhattan West, a 5.4 million-square-foot office, retail and residential development. Located near the site of the future Moynihan Station transit hub in Midtown Manhattan, the project will kick off with a 2 million-square-foot office tower that is scheduled for delivery in 2015.
Also in the works locally is an estimated $200 million to $300 million upgrade of the retail portion of the World Financial Center, Brookfield’s massive office and retail complex near the World Trade Center in Downtown Manhattan, reported Dennis Friedrich, who was recently promoted to president and chief investment officer of Brookfield Office Properties. “We think Lower Manhattan is under-retailed,” said Friedrich in an interview after the presentation. He pointed to the submarket’s dramatic population growth since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and called the planned upgrade “a very exciting opportunity to capture the waterfront.”
Discussing his new role at the company, Friedrich explained that his responsibilities have changed from operations to strategy. Taking on Friedrich’s former role will be Mitch Rudin, recruited after seven years as president and CEO of CB Richard Ellis Inc.’s New York tri-state region. Rudin will report to Clark In his new role as CEO of Brookfield Office Properties’ commercial operations in the U.S. The appointments of Rudin, Friedrich and Jan Sucharda, who will lead the firm’s Canadian office operations, will allow Clark to relinquish his titles as president of Brookfield Office Properties and Brookfield Office Properties Canada.