Brookfield WFC retail relaunch pushed back to 2014

High-end boutiques, dry goods purveyors targeted for $250M retail project — now slated for August 2014

Dec.December 04, 2012 02:30 PM

Brookfield Office Properties is pushing back the opening of its revamped World Financial Center retail space by nearly a year, retail insiders say; the relaunch had been scheduled previously for the fall of 2013.

The reopening date for the vast majority of the 200,000-square-foot, $250 million retail project is now August 2014, sources familiar with Brookfield’s plans, said. Two small portions of the project, the dining terrace and the Pavillion, an underground passageway that connects the PATH train station to the World Financial Center, are still slated to open in 2013.

In addition, in late 2013, the World Financial Center — made up of three large buildings owned by Brookfield and one building, 3 World Financial, co-owned by Brookfield and American Express — is going to be renamed Brookfield Place.

One insider said the opening was pushed back at the request of incoming retailers, who found the later date more convenient. But another source said the date was moved because of complexities with the reconstruction within 3 World Financial Center, in part because some of the space is currently occupied by American Express.

Brookfield declined to comment, as did American Express.

Brookfield is seeking luxury dry goods tenants for the rehabilitated space that will be in the Winter Garden. The tenants in another area, known as the Courtyard— on Vesey Street between 3 World Financial and 4 World Financial — is being targeted for so-called “aspirational” tenants (such as the smaller boutiques found in Soho or Nolita), Wade McDevitt, CEO of the McDevitt Company, said during a panel today at the International Council of Shopping Centers conference in Midtown. McDevitt’s firm is a retail brokerage based in Philadelphia that is marketing the World Financial Center store space for Brookfield. Today is the second day of the ICSC’s two-day New York National Conference & Deal Making.

American Express occupies about 1.4 million square feet in the 2.3 million square foot 3 World Financial, information from CoStar Group shows.

But even as the opening has been delayed, Brookfield is planning to report that in both food and hard goods, the firm has six leases signed, nine in negotiations and five in the letters of intent stage, a retail source said.

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