By Al Barbarino
Jones Lang LaSalle has been tapped by downtown landlord Brookfield Office Properties as exclusive office leasing agent for One World Financial Center and Three World Financial Center in Lower Manhattan.
The appointment is the latest effort to ramp up leasing at the eight-million-square-foot World Financial Center complex after three major tenants opted to leave and Brookfield launched a $250 million capital improvement program.
“Jones Lang LaSalle is extraordinarily pleased to be working with Brookfield Office Properties on this important effort,” said Peter Riguardi, president of Jones Lang LaSalle’s New York operations. “We are committed to Lower Manhattan and the opportunities it offers to top corporate space users.”
Major tenants Nomura, Deloitte and Bank of America have given up much of their space in the complex, while entertainment giant Viacom decided last year to expand its Times Square offices instead of moving into the Center. The complex also faces fierce competition from the newer World Trade Center towers. The 40-story One World Financial Center, at 200 Liberty Street, offers more than 1.6 million square feet of class A office space, with 325,390 s/f currently available; and the 53-story Three World Financial Center, at 200 Vesey Street, offers more than 2.1 million square feet of class A office space, with 88,192 square feet currently available.
The complex is situated on the Hudson River waterfront and encompasses more than eight million square feet of premier office space within the four copper-crowned granite and glass towers designed by Cesar Pelli. Its 10-story glass pavilion, Winter Garden, features public spaces, dozens of shops and restaurants, and an outdoor waterfront esplanade, with an adjacent outdoor plaza used both for private functions and Brookfield’s Arts & Events program.
“The World Financial Center is one of the premier commercial office complexes in Manhattan, serving as home to many of the world’s most important businesses,” said John Wheeler.
“With world-class retail and restaurants, and the famed Winter Garden, as well as close proximity to mass transportation, the World Financial Center remains a top choice of companies looking for office space Downtown.”
Renovations will include the creation of an improved and expanded retail and fashion corridor, a dining terrace overlooking the Hudson River, a new gourmet food marketplace, and a glass pavilion entrance to the Winter Garden, also designed by Cesar Pelli. Brookfield expects to complete the renovations by 2014.
Amid a soft leasing market, competition from the World Trade Center and the consolidation of the financial services industry, the leasing of the office space could prove challenging if not daunting, but the relocation of several major firms from Midtown to Downtown is encouraging, with firms like Condé Nast, Oppenheimer & Company and law firm Wilmer Hale leading the way.