Brookfield buys BofA’s 4 World Financial Center stake, bank renews lease

Brookfield Office Properties CEO Ric Clark and 4 World Financial Center
Brookfield Office Properties has struck a deal with Bank of America to take its 49 percent stake in 4 World Financial Center and will own the entire property, the Wall Street Journal reported. Bank of America simultaneously renewed its lease for 750,000 square feet in the tower.

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The largest landlord in the neighborhood, Brookfield has committed to Lower Manhattan with this deal and its recent promise to spend $250 million to upgrade the retail at the World Financial Center. However, with layoffs looming at financial firms and millions of vacant square feet being delivered in the World Trade Center, Brookfield has reason to be concerned. It lost 900,000 square feet of occupied space when Nomura said it would leave the World Financial Center for Midtown, and now has 3 million square feet to fill in the four-building complex. Brookfield CEO Ric Clark has said that the cheaper rents relative to Midtown will draw tenants.

But the Bank of America renewal was important to Brookfield, the Journal said. The Bank first inherited the space and its sold stake when it took over Merrill Lynch in September 2008. The stake was valued at $225 million to $250 million, although no price was identified. [WSJ]

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