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Brookfield to be top NY landlord after Forest City deal closes

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"The acquisition, announced in July, adds New York to a list of gateway cities where Brookfield is the largest owner of commercial real estate." - Ric Clark

New York

CANADA'S Brookfield Asset Management Inc will be the largest single commercial property owner in New York City after its US$11.4 billion purchase of Forest City Realty Trust closes in coming days, a Brookfield official said on Wednesday.

The acquisition, announced in July, adds New York to a list of gateway cities, including Houston, Los Angeles, Toronto and London, where Brookfield is the largest owner of commercial real estate, said Ric Clark, a senior managing partner and chairman of its real estate business.

Toronto and New York-based Brookfield also is among the top owners in Sydney, Melbourne, Seoul and Berlin and has a meaningful presence in Brazil, China and Dubai, Mr Clark said.

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Brookfield's New York assets will top 36 million square feet (sq ft) after the Forest City acquisition closes, surpassing Vornado Realty Trust, which has about 31 million sq ft of property in the city, according to data from CoStar Group Inc and Brookfield.

While Brookfield now ranks as New York's largest property owner, its holdings still are just a fraction of the city's total commercial real estate.

For example, its 25 million sq ft of office space is less than 5 per cent of all workspace available in Manhattan.

Brookfield will gain prominent properties including the New York Times building, the Tata Innovation Center and MetroTech Center in the acquisition.

The Forest City portfolio also includes 2.3 million sq ft of premier life science assets, mostly in Cambridge, Massachusetts, along with five large-scale development projects in San Francisco, Washington and the New York metropolitan area, among other assets.

Brookfield, which historically has been known for office holdings, now has a sizeable slice in the retail and apartment sectors, a growing presence in hotels, logistical and warehouse assets, student housing and manufacturing housing, Mr Clark said.

"You name it, we're likely invested in it," he said while addressing a luncheon gathering of the Real Estate Board of New York.

Over the past two years, assets under management at Brookfield have grown by US$35 billion and over the past five years, they have almost doubled, increasing by US$75 billion, Mr Clark said.

An alternative money manager, Brookfield invests in real estate, renewable energy, infrastructure and private equity, with more than US$330 billion in assets under management.

The company controls US$183 billion in real estate assets. REUTERS