Brookfield Property Partners has reached an agreement with the NYC Economic Development Corporation for building their new $2.2 billion One Manhattan West office tower in the Hudson Yards District.
The project will generate more than 10,000 construction and permanent retail and office jobs in New York City, and Brookfield has agreed to subject all these jobs to the City’s new Living Wage standard.
This is the first such agreement for an economic development project in NYC after Mayor Bill de Blasio issued the Living Wage Executive Order. It increases wages in projects supported by City subsidies to over $13 per hour and also makes it applicable to tenants after project completion.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a release announcing the agreement with Brookfield that they are incredibly proud to see this agreement come to fruition. The Mayor thanked Brookfield Properties, anchor tenant Skadden Arps and the staff of the NYC Economic Development Corporation for collaborating on this dynamic addition to the city.
Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen added that there was no shortage of voices who said a deal like this could never happen, but through productive negotiations, they were able to see the policy objectives realized.
Deputy Mayor Glen added that this fundamentally changes the way in which NYC uses its economic development tools.
NYCEDC President Kyle Kimball noted that when they look at job creation, they don’t only consider quantity, but quality as well. Kimball thanked Mayor de Blasio, Deputy Mayor Glen and Brookfield for crafting this agreement in a way that puts New Yorkers on a path to a brighter future.
One Manhattan West is a 2.1 million square feet Class A office tower project on a five-acre site. The tower will be anchored by law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. At the tower’s base will be a two-acre plaza lined with retail space.
These retail jobs, office cafeterias and parking facilities typically create jobs that mostly offer minimum wage. But the Living Wage order, and the agreement reached with Brookfield Properties, ensures that these jobs will now offer significantly higher wages.
The living wage has been set to $13.30 per hour without benefits ($11.90 with benefits), and will be adjusted every year to account for Consumer Price Index changes. By 2019, the living wage is expected to rise up to more than $15 per hour.
Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union President Stuart Appelbaum said in the release that economic development is only truly effective when the jobs created enable people to earn enough to survive in the city. Appelbaum added that they congratulate Mayor de Blasio for discarding outdated notions of economic development under which building for building’s sake was thought to be sufficient.
Construction on One Manhattan West is expected to begin this year and be completed by 2020.