Despite the housing crisis and initial resistance to remote work, Brookfield, the world’s largest real estate company, has thrived in New York. By providing attractive amenities like landscaped terraces, wellness centers, and artworks, the company has successfully leased two buildings. Building upon this success, Brookfield has unveiled Manhattan West, a new project that showcases public art by renowned contemporary artists Charles Ray and Christopher Wool.
Both artists, neither of whom currently have any public works on display in New York City, enthusiastically accepted the offer. Ray’s sculpture, titled Adam and Eve, depicts an older couple and aims to convey a sense of dignity and vitality. Wool, on the other hand, is commissioned for a mosaic piece.
Brookfield’s decision to prioritize art was influenced by collector Lonti Ebers, the wife of Brookfield Asset Management’s head, Bruce Flatt. While art can enhance the appeal of commercial spaces, it may not be enough to counter market forces if the commercial real estate crash continues.
A study showed a significant decline in office occupancy since the pandemic began, and economists predicted a potential $453 billion loss in real estate value without a rebound. However, Brookfield remains optimistic about the prospects of Manhattan West and the power of art to attract employees back to the office.
Featured Image: Ray Charles, Reclining Woman (2018). Source: Matthew Marks Gallery