Ben Brown

Ben Brown

Ben Brown

Managing Partner at Brookfield Property Group

Ben Brown
By November 3, 2023 9:00 AM

Tell us about a deal that did NOT go through this year and why it didn’t happen.

The Yankees didn’t re-sign Judge. Why? A failure of predictive analytics.

Have you refinanced anything in 2022? How difficult/easy was it?

It is never easy, but we have been active. Since the onset of COVID (early 2020), we have closed 39 office loans totaling $11 billion of debt nationally and 11 loans of $5.2 billion in New York City. That includes One Manhattan West ($1.8 billion), the Grace Building ($1.3 billion) and One New York Plaza ($835 million).

There’s a lot of Class B and C office in NYC. If you could lay your hands on them at a really great price, what would you do with them?

What would I do if I could buy them at a really great price? Sell them at a really good price.

What market outside of NYC do you like and why?

We have a major presence in D.C., Houston, L.A., Denver and the Bay Area, and, while some are doing better than others, we believe in those markets. But Silicon Valley, where we’ve grown in the last two years, is particularly compelling right now. It remains the heartbeat of technology innovation in the U.S., and, while the Bay Area has been slow on the path to recovery, we think the long- term outlook is really attractive.

There’s a midterm election this year. How closely are you following, and do you think the national political climate will have an effect in New York?

Of course the national political climate mat- ters in New York. Anything that impacts how we navigate the macroeconomy matters. But New York is a resilient city that continues to attract a diverse and talented workforce and foster an entrepreneurial spirit. That continuing will determine the course of our industry in the city more than what happens in Washington.

How many days per week are you in the office?


How many days per week are your tenants in the office?

Our tenants are back in the office. Their employees are in the office three to five days per week.

NYC apartment rents have reached never seen levels. How much further can it go? How does the housing squeeze play out?

New York had a major housing supply problem even before we let the major catalyst to rental housing creation [421a] lapse. Now the problem is just going to get worse. Add to it rising interest rates dampening home buying, and rents are continuing to rise. New York is still New York, but without more housing we cannot address affordability and we cannot maximize opportunities to garner talent, jobs and tax revenue.

ESG: fad or fixture?

Major fixture. We were focused on it glob- ally before we were calling it that. Maybe it gets branded differently in the future, but the drive toward principles like sustainability, diversity and inclusion are core to the business in the long term.