Day in the Life of: Jerry Larkin

The Brookfield Properties leasing bigwig on the ‘Titanic’ theme song, his bearded
dragon lizard and being part of a posse of die-hard Rangers fans

Apr.April 01, 2015 07:00 AM

Jerry Larkin (Photo: Tobias Truvillion)

Jerry Larkin oversees all leasing in New York and Boston for the mega-commercial landlord Brookfield Property Partners. The Toronto-based firm owns nearly 20 million square feet of office space in New York, including the four-building, 8.5 million-square-foot Brookfield Place office complex, where it has been on a leasing tear in the last 18 months. The complex, which had large blocks of empty space to fill when some of its biggest tenants shrunk or relocated, has signed some of the biggest and most valuable leases in the city. Meanwhile, the firm is leasing up the soon-to-rise 1 Manhattan West, the centerpiece of Brookfield’s planned 7 million-square-foot Manhattan West project on the Far West Side. Larkin, 55, started out as an analyst at Olympia & York, then moved into leasing representation at the Paramount Group and NatWest. He joined Brookfield in 1997 as vice president of leasing. The vibrant Oakland, N.J., resident and father of four (three of his kids are in college), is also a die-hard Rangers fan and spends weekends in Greenville, N.Y., snowmobiling, ATVing and clearing fields on his tractor.

5:30 a.m. My cousin, who lives 20 minutes away, comes over and we work out to a tape called “10-Minute Torchers.” It’s a lot of squats, push-ups and asymmetrics.

Larking-ferry7 a.m. I hop on a train to Hoboken and take the ferry across the river to Brookfield Place. The last couple of weeks on the ferry have sort of been like “Titanic.” I have the [movie’s] theme song going through my head because of all the icebergs. For breakfast, I have a couple cups of coffee and a scone from Olive’s or Hudson Eats.

8 a.m. We have a team meeting to discuss what deals we’re working on, and strategize on how we’re going to lease space. We then meet with our marketing team to talk about promotional materials and events.

10 a.m. I spend a lot of time on the phones and reading documents or pushing the deals uphill to try to get them completed. The guys who work for me are doing the lion’s share of the space tours and the presentations. I’ll join in if it’s a good-sized tenant. I recently gave a tour to Susan MacGregor Scott at Citigroup. When she was the head of real estate at Bank of America, she gave us early access to quite a bit of space [at Brookfield Place, then known as World Financial Center] and allowed us to start construction sooner.

Larkin-lunch12 p.m. Downtown, my go-to lunch spots are North End Grill and Sushi of Gari, where I usually get the “Tuna of Gari,” eight pieces of tuna, each prepared differently. In Midtown, I go to Koi at the Bryant Park Hotel or STK in the Grace Building, which we own. I take tenants, brokers or prospective tenants there. I recently had lunch with [JLL’s] Mac Horner, who represents some of our existing tenants.

1 p.m. Once or twice a day, I’m up to Midtown and back. I take a car service or the subway. Over the last year and a half, our main focus was Brookfield Place. Right now, our biggest project is Manhattan West. We’re seeking out smaller tenants — ones that would take one or two floors. Five Manhattan West attracts the TAMI [technology, advertising, media and information technology] tenants, and 1 Manhattan West will most likely attract traditional tenants. We’re talking to everyone.

3 p.m. We also have agents on all our buildings, so we meet with those guys — teams from CBRE, JLL, Cushman & Wakefield and Newmark Grubb Knight Frank — weekly or biweekly. We talk about rents, deals going on and who’s in the market [for office space].

4 p.m. Part of the day is spent updating my fearless leaders, Ric Clark, Dennis Friedrich and Paul Schulman, on what’s going on, and getting their input and approvals if necessary.

6 p.m. Brookfield has season tickets to the Rangers, and I get to 15 or 20 of their home games a year at Madison Square Garden. The seats are about 14 rows off the ice. We bring tenants, prospective tenants and brokers. The best thing about our seats is the wives and the girlfriends sit right behind us. When we bring anyone for the first time, they say, ‘Wow, that’s a lot of pretty girls behind you.’ I know all the hockey fans in the brokerage community — Peter Riguardi from JLL, Josh Kuriloff from C&W, Matt Van Buren from CBRE and Peter Shimkin from NGKF. A lot of these guys have their own tickets, so we’ll meet in between periods and grab a beer.

7:30 p.m. If I’m home after work, my wife usually makes a chicken dish. But my preferred dinner is peanut butter and jelly and a glass of milk.

rangers8 p.m. I watch any kind of hockey game if the Rangers aren’t playing. I’ll root for any team, except the Devils and the Islanders. We hang a 4-by-8-foot Rangers banner in the window over the entrance to my house. Also, we have a bearded dragon lizard [as a pet]. We feed it mealworms and water. We used to give it a salad, but it doesn’t like it anymore.

10:30 p.m. I check my emails before going to bed. Want me to tell you what I do with my wife? I kiss her goodnight.

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