“Look at these striking views of the Marina, the river, Jersey City,” said Rick Smilow gesturing at the floor-to-ceiling windows in what will be the student lounge of the Institute of Culinary Education when it relocates from the Flatiron District to Brookfield Place in mid- to late-March.
Mr. Smilow, ICE’s president and chief executive officer, is clearly smitten. He picked this location after a labor-intensive search with a team of Savills Studley brokers that he recalls involving at least 70 buildings. “There were places that would have cost less but wouldn’t have been as spectacular,” he said.
Nor would they have been able to accommodate all of the school’s kitchens, classrooms and offices on one floor like the 74,000 square feet he’s leasing. “The appeal is the sense of energy and commitment you get on one floor,” Mr. Smilow said. Plus he noted that “this is a Class A building and normally you don’t find a vocational school in a Class A building.” And normally one doesn’t find a vocational school sandwiched on a floor between Saks Fifth Avenue and Time, Inc.
However, Brookfield Place is devoting an unusual amount of space and attention to dining options. Hudson Eats, a thoughtfully curated food court, is already up and running. Le District, a market created to do for French food what Eataly does for Italian, is expected to open in March. And several notable chefs from the esteemed Joel Robuchon to the red-hot Torrisi brothers have signed on.
“Historically the World Financial Center catered to financial tenants,” pointed out Jarod Stern, a corporate managing director at Savills Studley, “but Brookfield Office Properties decided to redevelop it around the idea of food and cuisine. Once we found that out we put one and one together to see what would be a good marriage. What better than to have a world-class cooking school?”...I.C.E. Hot: The Brand New Culinary School at Brookfield Place
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