BY COLIN MIXSON
The Downtown Alliance has tapped influential Brookfield Property Group honcho Ric Clark to serve as the business improvement district’s new chairman. Clark will replace departing chairman Alan Scott, who chose not to seek reelection following the end of his term last month.
Clark, who currently fills an executive role at Brookfield as senior managing partner and chairman, has served in various senior rolls at the development company, which claims roughly $78 billion in assets worldwide and has owned property Downtown since the purchase of Brookfield Place (formerly the World Financial Center) and One Liberty Plaza in 1996.
In his roll as chairman of the Downtown business advocacy group, Clark will work with the Alliance’s board on long-term planning and budget oversight, while President Jessica Lapin will continue handling the alliance’s day-to-day operations.
Clark served as CEO of Brookfield Office Properties at the time of the terrorist attacks on Sept.11, 2001, and shepherded the company through a period of uncertainty and potential ruin.
Five Brookfield-owned properties comprising roughly half the company’s equity suffered substantial damage as a result of the attack, and the business had only one year to affect repairs before tenants were legally permitted to break their lease agreements, Clark described in a 2014 interview with Columbia Business School.
“We had to get these buildings fixed and the tenants back in so they couldn’t break their leases, or basically the whole enterprise was at risk,” he said.
Those same properties are now icons of Lower Manhattan’s renaissance.
Aside from his work at Brookfield, Clark serves in leadership positions of several New York based groups, including on the executive committee of the Real Estate Board of New York and the board of directors of the 9/11 Memorial, the Real Estate Roundtable, the National Eating Disorders Association, and the Perelman Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center.
Downtown Alliance President Jessica Lapin described Clark as a strong leader with long ties to the neighborhood.
“Ric is a thoughtful and proven leader with a real passion for Lower Manhattan,” Lappin said. “His dedication to revitalizing and rebuilding the area, coupled with his optimism and vision, make him a great fit and we are thrilled to welcome him as our new chair.”
The Downtown Alliance manages the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Business Improvement District, where it provides additional security, sanitation, and transportation services, in addition to advocacy work and research into solutions for improving commerce Downtown.