Brookfield Property Partners is close to an agreement with JLL awarding the brokerage the leasing assignment for about 250,000 square feet of retail at Manhattan West, sources told The Real Deal.
A team of JLL brokers headed by newly minted vice chairman Patrick Smith will take charge at the Far West Side megadevelopment, sources with knowledge of the talks confirmed. The agreement has yet to be signed, but appears imminent.
A representative for Brookfield declined to comment, and JLL couldn’t be immediately reached.
Brookfield has roughly 250,000 square feet of retail slated for the $8.6 billion, 7 million-square-foot mixed-use megaproject it’s developing in partnership with the Qatar Investment Authority.
The assignment will be a coup for JLL, which is trying to make headway in the retail sector. The firm didn’t appear among Manhattan’s top 20 retail brokerages in a 2014 ranking by The Real Deal.
But in October 2015, JLL hired Smith to bolster its presence on the retail scene, who had previously spent more than 15 years with the retail specialty firm SRS Real Estate, where his clients included Duane Reade and Walgreens.
In fact, Smith may have had a leg up with the competition dating back to his time at SRS.
He and a trio of SRS colleagues were awarded the Real Estate Board of New York’s Most Significant Retail Deal of the Year award last year for leasing 160,000 square feet of retail space on behalf of Equity Office Properties near Bryant Park.
Instead of looking for a single showcase tenant to define the area, the brokers “refocused the marketing strategy on co-tenancy and changing the market’s perception of the properties by hosting a successful industry event and showcasing public artwork in the retail spaces,” the REBNY judges noted.
The person in charge of overseeing the retail for Equity Office Properties at the time was Michael Goldban, who joined Brookfield as head of its retail leasing team in October after a short stint with the Rockefeller Group.
Whole Foods is reportedly already in talks to open a 50,000-square-foot store at 5 Manhattan West, the 1.7 million-square-foot building undergoing a $200 million renovation as part of Brookfield’s development.