Brookfield plans 'retail incubator' on New York's Bleecker Street
Brookfield Property Partners has bought a slate of properties from New York REIT for $31.5 million, a sale first announced by New York REIT March 1. The properties are 350 Bleecker Street and 367-387 Bleecker Street in Manhattan, according to a New York REIT press release.
The company plans a retail- and arts-based revitalization of the area, including bringing in e-commerce companies in search of brick-and-mortar operations, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal, which the company confirmed to Retail Dive in an email.
Brookfield last month also agreed to buy fellow mall developer GGP for $9.25 billion in cash.
As many news outlets remain preoccupied with a "retail apocalypse," Brookfield is steadily building up its portfolio with a host of retail-oriented properties premised on the market's strengths, including specialty stores and e-commerce.
"Brookfield is quickly emerging as one of the smartest and most strategic players in the specialty retail real estate sector," retail real estate analyst Nick Egelanian, president of retail development consultants SiteWorks International, told Retail Dive in an email. "The company has made it absolutely clear that it is bullish on the long term potential for high-end specialty retail in the United States, and this represents a very sound strategy given that consumers like to visit stores and have 'experiences' when spending discretionary income and time."
Brookfield was already deeply involved in this side of the retail real estate industry, he said, but recently doubled down with its acquisition of OliverMcMillan and GGP. The real estate company in February announced the purchase of national mixed-use developer OliverMcMillan, which acquires, designs, develops, manages and leases mixed-use and stand-alone real estate properties in major metropolitan growth markets across the United States and Canada, for an undisclosed amount.
When it comes to the property in Greenwich Village, once a bohemian neighborhood that remains popular with tourists, Brookfield’s plans to establish an urban retail incubator reflect a savvy approach to seize opportunity in the turbulent retail market.
"Buying well located street retail space in New York City will allow Brookfield to create deep and meaningful relationships with many emerging retailers, who often gravitate to well established and emerging streets in large sophisticated markets in New York before experimenting in smaller markets," Egelanian noted. "By establishing an 'incubation' strategy, Brookfield demonstrates not only that it understands the need to establish relationships with new and emerging brands, but also that it can create outsized long term value by feeding successful retailers into its more diverse holdings throughout the United States. I would love to see more Specialty Retail landlords making long term investments in the business, as Brookfield clearly understands."
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