Former Saks at Brookfield will become a massive events space

The former Saks Fifth Avenue space at Brookfield Place has been leased to Convene — a national chain of corporate event spaces that will cater to Brookfield tenants and the public. Convene will take 73,000 square feet and use it for two large catering halls that will seat 500 people each, plus several other smaller meeting rooms. There will also be a cafe open to the public. (For comparison’s sake, Pier Sixty, Abigail Kirsch’s event hall at the Chelsea Piers, is 20,000 square feet.) The address is 225 Liberty.

My first question: when 1,000 people are coming to an event at Brookfield, where will the black cars go? in front of El Vez?

Convene has 13 other properties in the city (but none this large) with three others downtown: 101 Greenwich, 32 Old Slip and One Liberty Plaza. Last year, the company secured $152 million in a Series D funding round to fuel its expansion, with Brookfield Properties as one of the investors.

The release called Brookfield “an increasingly amenitized office complex.” And that explains the switch from retail to services for this space, which adds up to a quarter of the entire mall. Urban department stores are over, Ben Brown, Brookfield Property Group’s head of New York, told Bloomberg. “I joke that it’s kind of the amenities arms race in real estate right now in terms of how landlords are positioning their buildings and trying to attract tenants,” he said. “Real estate as a sector is becoming a lot more hospitality-driven, and I think Convene is at the forefront of that.”



  1. How long before we start to see all the high-end retailers at Hudson Yards realize they made a mistake and close?

  2. So true Makes You Go “Hmm…” so true. One of the things that made NYC such a great city was it is a walking city and used to be filled with unique shops. We are not a mall city. WFC (sorry Warren WFC never had a brook nor was it ever a field – it is landfill) used to be representative of NY. You had the cobbler, the barber, you had the purse shop that had $25 wallets and $1200 purses and everything in between; it was a shopping mall that reflected the different economic realities of all the workers who passed through there coming and going. Now it is an exercise in wealth and where are all these people?

    • As a small business storefront in Tribeca I couldn’t agree more. Unless the city starts giving tax breaks to small business owners we will continue to lose the very character that made us a melting pot city and a walking city. As small business moves away, neighborhoods lose their cachet. I think the movement for subsidized small business would be could be should be realized by the very real estate companies hoping to keep their residential properties at Tip top value.

  3. It is disgusting that Brookfield has ZERO regard for the residential community surrounding its building. The impact of opening an event space that can host up to 1000 people will be overwhelming at best on event days. Since Convene is a for profit company – their goal is to be booked 365 days a year. Brookfield as an investor and landlord is motivated only to allow them to do whatever they can to make more money – neighbors be damned. The sad thing is it will be successful in ways the other retail is not…because event spaces in Manhattan are in demand.