Brookfield Office Properties (NYSE, TSX: BPO) today unveiled plans for a $250 million retail redevelopment of the World Financial Center in Lower Manhattan. The broad-scope changes expand the retail offerings and include high-end fashion, a European-style marketplace, and waterfront dining. In addition, a dramatic glass pavilion on West Street will link the Center to Lower Manhattan’s new transit hubs and serve as the main entranceway to the eight-million-square-foot complex.
Pedestrian Boulevard and Retail on West Street, at Brookfield's World Financial Center (Photo: Business Wire)“These improvements to the World Financial Center are coming at the perfect time, given the $20 billion private and public investment in Lower Manhattan, the completion of Hudson River Park, retail expansion throughout the district, and the anticipated completion of the two transit centers,” said Ric Clark, CEO of Brookfield Office Properties. “The World Financial Center Winter Garden has served as Lower Manhattan’s grand and welcoming public space for the past twenty years. In cooperation with the Battery Park City Authority and the Department of City Planning, we are pleased to be moving forward with a plan that incorporates the existing Winter Garden staircase and repositions the World Financial Center for decades to come.“ Construction is set to begin in October 2011 and will conclude in 2013. “These upgrades are one of the major reasons for the current high level of corporate interest for office space at the World Financial Center,” said Dennis Friedrich, president & chief investment officer of Brookfield Office Properties. In spring 2011, Brookfield Office Properties successfully negotiated leases in excess of 600,000 square feet with corporations such as Oppenheimer Funds and Commerzbank. Brookfield is currently in serious negotiations for more than two million square feet with other major office tenants in the financial services, media and service sectors.