Brookfield Names Duncan McCuaig Head of Leasing as Jeremiah Larkin Retires

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Jeremiah Larkin is retiring after 27 years as head of leasing for Brookfield (BN) Properties with Duncan McCuaig taking over the post, Commercial Observer has learned.

Larkin has led leasing in the city for Brookfield for years, steering the full lease-up of the 6 million-square-foot Manhattan West project and the 8.5 million-square-foot Brookfield Place. During his career, he has inked more than 35 million square feet of deals.

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Two of Larkin’s biggest deals include Morgan Stanley’s office at One New York Plaza for 1.3 million square feet in 2012 and another of about the same size for Chevron in the Enron Building in Houston in 2006. Economic slump or not, Brookfield was still able to sign 3 million square feet of deals in New York last year.

“Everything comes in cycles, and the beauty of Brookfield is that our assets are best in class,” Larkin, whose last day is Thursday, told CO. “So even in down markets, we’re busy. 

“Maybe you don’t get as high of rents as you were hoping but you’ll certainly be able to move space. … Whether or not [in-person work takes place] three or four days a week, [office tenants] still need the same amount of space,” he added.

Larkin started his career as an analyst at Olympia & York then moved into brokerage with stints at Paramount Group and NatWest, The Real Deal reported. He moved to Brookfield in 1997 and has been seen as the face of the Toronto-based landlord to the brokerage community for years.

“He’s been such a bulwark for Brookfield for so many years in terms of carrying the brand, the ethos, setting such a high standard and building trust within the community that, as we all know, particularly in these moments in time, is essential to success and to building relationships as a major landlord,” Bruce Mosler, chairman of global brokerage at Cushman & Wakefield (CWK), told CO.

McCuaig has been with Brookfield since 2006, and Larkin said he’s leaving Brookfield in good hands, having mentored McCuaig.

The new head of leases has negotiated deals for major tenants like Skadden, National Hockey League and Accenture at One Manhattan West, as well as KPMG and D.E. Shaw at Two Manhattan West. Now McCuaig will turn his attention to 660 Fifth Avenue and Lever House at 390 Park Avenue.

“We’re absolutely seeing signs of the market starting to strengthen and find its footing. It’s gotten very active and we’re talking to tenants at the moment totaling in excess of 2 million square feet on new transactions,” McCuaig said. “So while the year started fairly quiet, I think throughout the entire market it’s gotten very busy for us in the last two months.”

With large spaces running out in Brookfield’s portfolio, McQuaig says his teams will need to focus on finding occupiers of smaller blocks of and on signing renewals, the latter of which he said are gaining momentum as an indication the market is stabilizing and people are returning to their desks.

Mark Hallum can be reached at mhallum@commercialobserver.com.