WatermanCLARK to Manage Manhattan High-Rise

The months-old firm, formed by industry veteran executives Ric Clark and Philip Waterman III, will oversee property and construction management at 444 Madison Ave. in Midtown.

WatermanCLARK has committed to take on management responsibilities at 444 Madison Ave. in Manhattan, courtesy of a newly formed strategic relationship with Westbrook Partners, owner of the approximately 492,600-square-foot office skyscraper.

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Under the terms of the agreement, WatermanCLARK will spearhead property management and construction management at the property, as well as provide Westbrook with additional advisory and asset management services.  

Spanning an entire blockfront in Midtown, 444 Madison made its debut in 1931. Kohn, Vitolo & Knight designed the Art Deco high-rise, which was home to Newsweek magazine for decades before it became known as the New York Magazine Building.

However, the 42-story property’s days as the headquarters of a major publication ended with New York Magazine’s departure in 2007, shortly before Westbrook’s acquisition of the leasehold interest in the asset later that same year for approximately $313.8 million, according to New York City records.

WatermanCLARK did not disclose the details of the additional services it will provide for Westbrook; however, those services will not include leasing, as CBRE will maintain its role as exclusive leasing agent for 444 Madison. In addition to Class A office offerings, the building features nearly 15,000 square feet of ground-level retail space.

Veteran Leadership

News of WatermanCLARK’s new assignment at 444 Madison comes just weeks after the vertically integrated real estate investment and operating company announced the selection of industry veteran Jennifer McCool, most recently of Related Cos., to serve as its chief operating officer, and roughly five months after the firm’s establishment.

Ric Clark, former three-decade veteran of Brookfield Property Group, and Philip Waterman III, founder of Waterman Interests LLC, launched WatermanCLARK in January 2021, combining their well-honed industry expertise under one roof.

Clark, in his former position as chairman, played a role in such mega-transactions as Brookfield’s $1.4 billion sale of an interest in the company’s New York City portfolio in 2018. Waterman, a master of creating value, sold the fully leased, 119,000-square-foot office tower at 142 W. 36th St. in Manhattan for $81.5 million, or nearly $685 per square foot, in the second-largest office sale in June 2019.

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