Bruce Ratner’s real estate development company is reducing its stake in the Pacific Park mega-complex, which it launched 13 years ago, to just five percent.
Sources told The Post that in the restructuring of shares, Greenland USA, Forest City New York’s partner on the giant Brooklyn project, will be increasing its stake from 70 percent to 95 percent. This will put the formerly Atlantic Yards under almost complete control of the subsidiary of China’s Greenland Group.
According to The Post, “Greenland intends to move forward swiftly with plans for a new apartment building at Atlantic and Sixth avenues, next door to Barclays Center, with a groundbreaking in 2019, sources said. The restructuring could be announced as soon as this week. It marks the latest twist in the drawn-out and contentious saga of Pacific Park, which has seen as much drama as most Nets games at the 5-year-old arena. With Greenland USA firmly in control, the long-delayed complex is likely to get a badly needed infusion of energy — and capital. Only four of 15 planned buildings have gone up 13 years after Ratner won city and state approval to create a new, 22-acre residential and recreational complex at the juncture of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues.”
The diverging priorities of the partners are plainly seen in this new arrangement.
Since coming into the US market in 2013, major projects have been supported by
Greenland USA in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Now the foreign firm is looking to make its mark in New York.
The Post reports, “For its part, since Forest City went public, it’s reduced its development activity to remain focused on already constructed assets — including a portion of the New York Times headquarters and the Frank Gehry-designed 8 Spruce St. apartment tower — both in Manhattan and Brooklyn’s MetroTech Center.
Ratner, 72, a scion of Forest City New York’s parent Forest City Enterprises, kick-started Pacific Park in 2005 and ran the New York division until 2013. His firm kept a 30 percent stake in the project after it sold 70 percent to Greenland USA in 2013 for a reported $200 million. The deal didn’t include Barclays Center or 461 Dean St., although both are part of the Pacific Park site.”
Even as a minority partner, Forest City will still continue to play a part in the development at Pacific Park.
However, the construction at the major development is currently stalled. According to The Post, “Signs of tension between Greenland USA and Ratner surfaced last June when Hu Gang, chief executive of Greenland USA, said he expected to break ground on two more buildings by the end of 2017. But in November, Forest City Realty Trust CEO David LaRue said his company had no timetable for new construction, citing anxiety over competition from 30,000 new apartments being built or planned in Brooklyn. Forest City stopped all work there, citing a $307.6 million accounting loss on the project. Greenland USA will be under pressure to meet a state-city deadline in 2025 to complete some 2,250 affordable housing units at Pacific Park.”
As of now, the development has seen the construction of only about 800 affordable housing units, which means Greenland has a long way to go before its deadline in seven years.
By: Mark Snyder