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Brookfield Office Properties is planning a $250 million retail redevelopment of the World Financial Center in downtown Manhattan. The redevelopment will include a connector to the area's transit hubs, which  offers high-end fashion, a European-style marketplace, and dinning destinations. The construction is expected to  commence by October 2011 and will likely be completed  by 2013.

The World Financial Center is an 8 million-square feet complex located in downtown Manhattan surrounded by an affluent residential population and is home to some of the most well-reputed international corporate firms. Brookfield made significant investment in the redevelopment of this space considering the vested interest for office space by many corporate firms. The Center is also ideally located for retailers and restaurant operators.

These improvements are coming at the perfect time as it coincides with the Hudson River Park's recent completion, the anticipated completion of the two downtown transit centers and a $20 billion private and public investment in lower Manhattan.

Brookfieldowns develops and manages premier office properties in the United States, Canada and Australia. Its portfolio consists of 109 properties spanning 78 million square feet in the downtown cores of New York, Washington, D.C., Houston, Los Angeles, Toronto, Calgary, Ottawa, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, making it the global leader in the ownership and management of office assets. Brookfield is currently in negotiations for more than two million square feet space with other major office tenants in the financial service and media sectors.

Brookfield currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold rating. We are also maintaining our long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock. One of its competitors, CoreSite Realty Corporation (COR - Snapshot Report) currently retains a Zacks #2 Rank, which translates into a short-term Buy rating.

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