Managing Partner and Head of U.S. Office at Brookfield’s Real Estate Group
Last year's rank: 6
Manhattan West, Brookfield’s Far West Side megaproject, formally opened to the public in the fall — a project many years in the making and enough of a showstopper that any real estate company would consider it the crowning project of a year. Or maybe a career.
The 67-story One Manhattan West office tower opened in 2019, but the project’s large retail component debuted last September with a new National Hockey League flagship store and other retail. Manhattan West also includes an 834-unit luxury rental called The Eugene, the 21-story Pendry Hotel and 5 Manhattan West, a 1913 commercial building that was recladded with glass a few years ago and leased to smaller office tenants. Most of the development is complete except for 2 Manhattan West, which will house 1.75 million square feet of office space.
Brookfield also opened a 458-unit rental building on the South Bronx waterfront last year — the first piece of the planned 1,400-unit Bankside project.
The real estate investment trust has made other strides in multifamily in New York City. It took over management and ownership of Waterside Plaza, a 1,400-unit waterfront complex in Kips Bay. Together with Park Tower Group, it has completed two buildings at Greenpoint Landing in Brooklyn, 1 and 2 Blue Slip, which total 359 and 421 units, respectively. One Bell Slip will open this month with 414 units, and another two-tower, 745-unit complex, Eagle + West, will open its first phase in July. Brookfield was also named codeveloper of 5 World Trade Center, a proposed 1,200-unit residential tower with 330 affordable units.
On the commercial side, Brookfield picked up 23 industrial properties in New York and New Jersey last year, and has 1.9 million square feet of industrial space under development. It is also developing life science properties in Long Island City through its partnership with King Street Properties.
Ben Brown felt that Brookfield’s decision to double down on office while diversifying its portfolio with industrial, life science and residential was paying off.
“We invested nearly $4 billion in office in the U.S. at a time when our peers weren’t really doing that,” he said. “We invested in a life sciences platform, King Street, and we’re looking to do more life sciences development in New York City and in Boston and Cambridge. I think what’s unique about Brookfield is sort of our scale generally and locally. Last year was a challenging year, but we still raised almost $20 billion of real estate capital in our funds.”