Friday, April 03, 2015

Ratner's Clinton connection: presidential campaign takes two floors at FCR's anodyne, "cool" One Pierrepont Plaza

From FCR web site
Bruce Ratner, whose firm sometimes has a lag in leasing office space, has made a deal with Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. 

And while it's unclear whether Clinton got a discount--or whether anyone believes that the anodyne One Pierrepont Plaza represents "Brooklyn cool"--it can't be a bad thing for Ratner (and his ally Mayor Bill de Blasio) to have a Clinton connection.

From Politico, which broke the story:
The chaotic weeks of working out of Starbucks, friends’ Manhattan pads, and a tiny office space will soon come to an end for Hillary Clinton’s early staffers — they’re officially setting up shop at 1 Pierrepont Plaza in Brooklyn Heights.
A lease has been signed at that location for Clinton’s campaign headquarters, according to a source familiar with the deal. The operation will occupy two full floors of the building, which is close to 12 subways lines and a dozen bus lines. The Clinton team will be taking the space as is – with no buildout.
...On its website, the building at 1 Pierrepont Plaza markets it as “Modern Offices. Brooklyn Cool.”
Clinton’s chief of staff, Huma Abedin, checked out the building weeks ago and took a walking tour of the neighborhood. The Clinton team will be sharing part of the building with a branch of the brokerage Morgan Stanley, while across the street is the office of the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
Actually, according to Forest City Ratner, "One Pierrepont Plaza is home to Morgan Stanley and the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York."

Location and space

From the website
Forest City describes it as "Located at the intersection of Pierrepont Street and Cadman Plaza West in downtown Brooklyn," though several news accounts put it as Brooklyn Heights. 

It's clearly on the edge, though to my mind more a part of Downtown Brooklyn.

Time reported that the "the team will work from the 10th and 11th floors of the 19-story building, taking up more than 80,000 square feet of space.
Available space before Clinton campaign moves in
So that's more than half of the available space, as the graphic at right indicates.

Capital NY reported that rents are approximately $40 per square foot. Wrote Dana Rubinstein:
You can call Brooklyn Heights many things, but “cool,” as the promotional materials for the building that will house Hillary Clinton's new campaign headquarters have it, is not one of them.
“It’s an area that’s been gentrified so long that gentrification is not an issue,” said Joan Byron, a 39-year Brooklynite and the policy director at the Brooklyn-based Pratt Center for Community Development.
The political connection

Unlike Politico, Time reported on the political connection:
The building is owned by Forest City Ratner, whose chairman Bruce Ratner is a Democrat and an ally of New York City mayor Bill de Blasio. De Blasio served on Clinton’s 1999 campaign for Senator in New York.
So too did Bloomberg and the Daily News.

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