Brookfield is in the midst of a $250 million makeover of the retail space at the complex, adding restaurants to appeal to guests of the Conrad Hotel across the street, and improving pedestrian access. The company is counting on arts and events programs like the Lowdown Hudson Blues Festival to build World Financial Center’s reputation as a destination for the increasing downtown residential population as well as tourists and today’s “hip” tenants.
“We control 8 million square feet right on the water,” said Jerry Larkin, the director of leasing at Brookfield Properties. “No other landlord has that.”
While it competes with the neighboring buildings, World Financial Center will also benefit from the overhaul of the transportation hub at the site, which will improve access for a growing number of workers who commute from New Jersey and Brooklyn.
“We look at it as a rising tide,” he said. “If they’re successful, we’ll be successful.’’
He also said World Financial Center will be offering space at a different “price point.”
Downtown brokers estimate World Financial Center rents may be $10 to $15 cheaper than at the World Trade Center. New, state-of-the-art Class A space in the Downtown area may command rents in the $80s per square foot, said Marc Shapses, executive managing director at Studley.
Class A space in the World Financial submarket averaged $54.19 in the third quarter, according to Cushman & Wakefield.