Brookfield making a place for millennials at Manhattan West

With the first building in Manhattan West topping out a few months ago, Brookfield senior managing partner Ric Clark provided an update on his firm’s $8.6 billion project.

During a keynote speech for the Real Estate Board of New York’s Annual Commercial Management Leadership Breakfast last week, he said that his company has adopted a “place making” approach to the eight-acre mixed-use megaproject.

“Recognizing the changing demands of how the next generation prefers to work, we have shifted the bulk of our development and redevelopment focus to the concept of ‘place making’. It dawned on us that our customers aren’t really the companies signing the leases in our commercial buildings but rather their employees. Mostly that 20 – 30 something demographic group that is driving today’s businesses. This is the group that we feel our developments need to appeal to and help facilitate their productivity and innovation,” he said.

In spite of the new philosophy towards development, Clark said that Manhattan West’s origins can be traced back to a few decades ago.

“Believe it or not, we have been planning and working on this one for my entire 30 years at the company. In fact, I did the first feasibility analysis on it in the mid 80’s. It is the one project within our organization where the best thinking, practices, innovation and experience of a global organization, working together for many years, has all come together into what we think is a unique and innovative project,” he said.

The Manhattan West project, a collection of five buildings that will rise near Hudson Yards, is a “mini-metropolis” that will have office, retail and residential components.

The first residential building in the site, Three Manhattan West, topped out last April. Once the building is built, it will contain 844 apartments ranging from studios to two-bedroom units. The tower is expected to be completed by 2018. The other buildings in the six million square foot site are mostly offices. The biggest of which is One Manhattan West, which sits on the corner of 33rd Street and Ninth Avenue. The 2.1 million s/f tower is now under construction. The 67-story building, which will be anchored by law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, is expected to be completed by 2019. According to an earlier repot from Crain’s, the National Hockey League is currently negotiating a lease for a 160,000 s/f space in the property.

According to Clark, the Manhattan West project will also include 200,000 s/f of retail and 200,000 s/f of hospitality space. The entire site, except for Four Manhattan West, is expected to be completed by 2019 or 2020.

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