Lease Beat

Men’s Dress Shirtmaker Signs Brookfield Place Lease As Complex Officially Opens

$79 men's shirts from Kamakura Shirts (Kamakura Shirts' website).

Kamakura Shirts signed a lease at Brookfield Place yesterday, the day before the Lower Manhattan complex officially opened.

The Japanese men’s dress shirt company’s 699-square-foot space is across the hall from Equinox (opened last month) and sandwiched between a women’s fashion brand that hasn’t been announced and Time Inc.‘s lobby, Edward Hogan, the national director of retail leasing for Brookfield Office Properties, told Commercial Observer during a tour of the partially complete complex yesterday. The lease is for 10 years, he said, noting that asking rents are currently $400 to $500 per square foot. Kamakura Shirts will open in about three months. Mr. Hogan negotiated the deal for Brookfield, along with Stephen Plourde of The McDevitt Company. Craig Slosberg of JLL represented the tenant.  Read More

Power Player

Downtown Alliance’s Jessica Lappin and the Area’s $30 Billion Makeover

Jessica Lappin on the wave of new offices and retail hitting Downtown.

If you check out Jessica Lappin’s Twitter profile, the words “wife” and “mom” share space with “Prez of the Alliance for Downtown NY”—and her feed alternates between tweets about baking cupcakes for her son’s class along with development deals and interjections about income inequality.

Having a mother’s perspective might be just the thing an area like Downtown Manhattan needs to truly evolve from a parking lot of glass and steel skyscrapers to a real neighborhood with real people living and working in it. Read More


I.C.E. Hot: The Brand New Culinary School at Brookfield Place

Kitchen equipment worth $1 million was purchased for I.C.E.

“Look at these striking views of the Marina, the river, Jersey City,” said Rick Smilow gesturing at the floor-to-ceiling windows in what will be the student lounge of the Institute of Culinary Education when it relocates from the Flatiron District to Brookfield Place in mid- to late-March.

Mr. Smilow, ICE’s president and chief executive officer, is clearly smitten. He picked this location after a labor-intensive search with a team of Savills Studley brokers that he recalls involving at least 70 buildings. “There were places that would have cost less but wouldn’t have been as spectacular,” he said. Read More


Le Opening: Le District is Opening in a Month, Part of Downtown’s Culinary Revolution

OOH LA LA: Le District of Brookfield Place should be a French version of Eataly (Photo: Emily Assiran/Commercial Observer.

Hear ye, hear ye, Downtown office workers: Plan on loosening the notches on your belts in the coming months, because by the end of March (or the beginning of April), Downtown Manhattan’s dining options are about to go into the stratosphere.

The 30,000-square-foot French-themed market and 520-seat dining zone, Le District, will be opening at the newly renovated Brookfield Place in Battery Park City. It will also include a 25-seat fine dining chef’s table concept, set to open in May. Read More


Amex Tapped to Provide Brookfield Place Perk

American Express logo

Brookfield is souping up its Brookfield Place retail complex with a concierge and other services including American Express gift cards, Commercial Observer has learned.

“We’re really looking to do something special,” said Soozan Baxter of Soozan Baxter Consulting, who is consulting with Brookfield on the project. Read More

Lease Beat

Omega, Lululemon Sign Deals at Brookfield Place

The future home of Omega at Brookfield Place. (Lauren Elkies Schram)

Omega and Lululemon Athletica have signed leases at Brookfield Place, Commercial Observer has learned.

The watch manufacturer signed a lease last month for 3,000 square feet in the winter garden below and to the side of Hudson Eats at Brookfield Place and the yoga apparel company has signed a deal for 2,993 square feet in the courtyard, next to where Jose Garces‘ Spanish tapas restaurant, Amada, will open, sources with intimate knowledge of the deals said. Omega has even listed an online job posting for a sales associate at the future store.  Read More

Market Reports

Midtown Leasing Slows With Availabilities Looming

Midtown numbers

Despite upticks in rent prices and decreased availability rates in both Class A and Class B properties in Midtown, the area moved less real estate in terms of raw square footage in the third quarter, according to the latest quarterly Manhattan office report released last week by Cresa New York.

The area between approximately 66th and 42nd Streets that the firm refers to as “Midtown North” totaled 3.8 million square feet of leasing transactions for the quarter, down from 4.9 million square feet in deals that were leased in the second quarter, 4.8 million square feet in the first quarter and 6.6 million square feet in the last quarter of 2013, the report says. Read More

Under Construction

Under Construction: Le District

Le District

HPH Restaurant Group’s 37,000-square foot “Le District” at Brookfield Place will open in stages starting in November of this year, and experiential design firm ICRAVE is working with the restaurateurs to complete the French-inspired culinary destination with four distinct sections. The designers and owners have installed several HVAC systems in the location, along with conduits and drywall, representatives for ICRAVE, the firm that previously conceived Jet Blue’s Terminal 5 at John F. Kennedy Airport and arrangements for several popular restaurants, told Commercial Observer. Chef Jordi Valles, formerly of St. Regis of Bal Harbour Resort, will lead the food options at the space with views of the North Cove Marina and the Statue of Liberty. Read More

Market Report

CompStak Q2 Report: Manhattan Office Market ‘Bullish’

Compstak graphs

The latest quarterly Manhattan office rent report from commercial lease database CompStak details a “bullish” market where new Manhattan office leases represented more than 66 percent of new leasing activity this year, versus only 54 percent in 2013.

Despite a $2.07-per-square-foot decline in Midtown South rents to $52.62, analysts pronounced all three markets healthy, citing large-scale leases at Brookfield Place and the World Trade Center, as well as notable signings like Yelp‘s 152,232-square-foot deal at 11 Madison Avenue. Read More

Lease Beat

Jane Street Inks Brookfield Place Lease

250 Vesey Street.

Jane Street Capital has signed a 15-year lease for 114,000 square feet at 250 Vesey Street, sources confirmed with Commercial Observer.

The lease covers a portion of the fourth floor and the entire fifth and sixth floors of the building. The trading firm will relocate to Brookfield Place from One Liberty Plaza, another Brookfield property. Jane Street will pay rent in the mid-$50s per square foot, one source said. Read More


Saks Plans Stores, Office Space Downtown

Brookfield Place.

Saks Fifth Avenue is planning two locations in Lower Manhattan, The Wall Street Journal reported. The expansion would include a department store and Saks Off Fifth outlet, along with a potential 400,000 square-foot office space for the department store’s parent company, Hudson’s Bay Co.

The possible site of the department store is Brookfield Place, while the outlet and office-space headquarters may be located at Brookfield’s One Liberty Plaza building, according to the Journal. Read More

Lease Beat

BNY Mellon Signs for 350K at Brookfield Place

225 Liberty Street

Bank of New York Mellon Corp. signed a 20-year, 350,000-square-foot lease to move its sought-after headquarters to 225 Liberty Street at Brookfield Place in Lower Manhattan, the bank and its new landlord, Brookfield Office Properties, announced today.

The news of the seven-floor lease ends a bidding fight between New York and New Jersey to attract the bank that lists $27.9 trillion in assets under custody, as bank officials said the attraction of staying in its longtime home and launching a sunlight-enhanced collaborative working space proved irresistible. Read More

Early Exit

Regus Exits Brookfield Place Lease Early

200 Vesey Street.

Regus, a flexible workspace provider, has closed its business center at Brookfield Place a little more than a year after signing a 16-year lease there, Commercial Observer has learned. The company moved out of the Lower Manhattan development quietly last month, the same month of its grand opening.

“Due to a number of operational issues outside our control, Regus has closed its business center in [the building previously known as 3 World Financial Center],” Regus said in a statement. “All affected customers have been relocated to other nearby Regus locations.” That number of customers was few, said Andrew Brown, group communications director for Regus. Read More


P.J. Clarke’s Files $40M Lawsuit Against Brookfield

World Financial Center

The owners of upscale restaurant chain P.J. Clarke’s have slapped Brookfield Office Properties subsidiary WFP Retail Co. with a $40 million suit alleging the Brookfield Place developer has driven down its business by 50 percent and tried to force the eatery out of its location at 4 World Financial Center.

Restaurateurs Phil Scotti and Arnold Penner, who, along with a group of investors, own the seven-location steaks and chops chain that started at East 55th Street and Third Avenue in 1884, allege their landlord has purposefully erected sidewalk sheds that block views of the Hudson River and the Statue of Liberty, closed off escalators leading to the restaurant to prevent foot traffic and made life miserable for customers and staff with leaks and noises stemming from constant construction at the site. Read More