Forest City Ratner Eyes Sale of Nets Stake

Barclays Center.

Forest City Ratner Companies has hired Evercore Partners to advise the developer on the sale of its 20-percent stake in the Brooklyn Nets basketball franchise, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

The company and a group of investors acquired the team for $300 million in 2004 when the Nets were based in New Jersey. The acquisition played an integral role in bringing the Nets to Brooklyn and the Barclays Center arena, the focal point of Forest City Ratner’s Atlantic Yards development. Read More

Year in Real Estate

Passing the Torch: Real Estate Execs Sign Off in 2013

Mort Zuckerman

From Silverstein Properties and Boston Properties on down to Forest City Ratner Companies, age played a decisive role in succession planning across some of the country’s largest real estate companies this year.

Larry Silverstein, Mort Zuckerman and Bruce Ratner all handed the reins to younger real estate executives during a year of leadership changes that rippled across the industry. Vornado Realty Trust and Cushman & Wakefield also experienced top-level shake-ups. 

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Atlantic Yards

Forest City and Greenland Group Complete Atlantic Yards Partnership Agreement


Forest City Enterprises and Greenland Holdings Group, a Chinese state-owned developer, have completed an agreement for a joint-venture to develop Atlantic Yards, the companies announced today.

The two parties had previously announced a preliminary deal in October under which Greenland would acquire a 70-percent stake in the Atlantic Yards project from Forest City. Expected to close in 2014, the joint venture includes phases one and two of the project, excluding the Barclays Center and the B2 modular housing tower.

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Atlantic Yards

State to Pay $300,000 to Lawyers Who Won Atlantic Yards Timetable Case


Empire State Development, the state agency overseeing the Atlantic Yards megadevelopment in Brooklyn, has agreed to pay $300,000 in fees to lawyers representing two community coalitions that won a lingering lawsuit over the project’s timetable.

The lawyers successfully challenged the agency’s decision, in 2009, to extend the potential build-out of the project to 25 years, while only studying the impact of a five-year delay on a project long billed as taking 10 years. Read More

Atlantic Yards

Chinese Firm Signs Preliminary Deal As Atlantic Yards Majority Investor

Pacific Park Brooklyn

Chinese state-owned property developer Greenland Holdings Group signed a preliminary deal to buy a majority stake in Brooklyn’s Atlantic Yards, under which the Shanghai-based investor would take a 70 percent stake from Forest City Ratner Companies.

Under the proposal, Greenland would co-developing the residential portion of the complex and sharing its costs going forward, while FCRC Read More

Mortgage Observer

EB-5 Funding On Rise, Long Arm of Law Watchful

Applications for the EB-5 program are on the rise.

It started with Gary Barnett’s Gem Tower and Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards. When credit tightened in 2009, some of the most respected New York developers had begun turning to foreign money to finance their construction projects via the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ EB-5 program. The federal program is designed to provide permanent residency to foreigners who invest at least $500,000 in job-creating projects. Of late, with the banking sector increasingly willing to finance projects but with the loan-to-cost of their loans languishing in the 60 percent to 65 percent range, EB-5 funding—for which interest rates are usually in the one-digit range—is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to costlier mezzanine financing, sources told Mortgage Observer.

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Power 100 Heat Map


From a Taconic Investment Partners project in Hunts Point to the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan, power in New York real estate circles has increasingly expanded from the comfortable confines of Midtown Manhattan to the fringes of all five boroughs. While large developments such as the Related Company’s Hudson Yards often dominate the conversation, Brooklyn, Queens and even the Bronx continue to grow in stature.

Long Island City is fast becoming a focal point for the real estate industry as Rockrose and other residential developers tap into the growing Queens neighborhood. In the Bronx, Taconic Investment Partners, formerly the owners of 111 Eighth Avenue, is in the process of a significant capital improvement plan at the BankNote Building on Lafayette Avenue in Hunt’s Point.

Below, a sampling of where power thrives in New York City in 2013. Read More


Forest City Ratner Continues to Reshuffle, Names Berliner COO

Mr. Berliner

David Berliner has been named chief operating officer of Forest City Ratner Companies, it was announced earlier today. Mr. Berliner had formerly been serving as general counsel for the development company.

“David has long been a valuable member of the executive team with a thorough knowledge of the entire company,” MaryAnne Gilmartin, newly-appointed president and chief executive officer, said in a prepared statement. “As Chief Operating Officer, he will be a key member of my leadership team and a great partner as I take over the day-to-day responsibilities of the company.” Read More


Changing of the Guard, Real Estate Style

CO 4-23 Postings Page 22

T he turnover of leadership at New York’s venerable real estate organizations has been staggering. Since September, Stephen Ross of Related Companies, Michael Fascitelli of Vornado Realty Trust, Mort Zuckerman of Boston Properties, Larry Silverstein of Silverstein Properties and Bruce Ratner of Forest City Ratner have all announced their resignations from their current roles.

While all will stay involved with their respective companies in one form or another, the changing of the guard in New York real estate has been in full swing.

Below, The Commercial Observer highlights each of these men—and their replacements—along with the one that started the recent trend, Douglas Durst. Read More

The Sit-Down

Our Lady of the Forest: MaryAnne Gilmartin On Taking Charge at FCRC

MaryAnne Gilmartin

Last week, Forest City Enterprises confirmed what had become an open secret in New York real estate circles: MaryAnne Gilmartin would succeed Bruce Ratner as president and chief executive of the company’s New York subsidiary, Forest City Ratner Companies. Ms Gilmartin spoke with The Commercial Observer on the day of the announcement last week about the process of deciding on a succession plan, what she will bring to the table and how her ascension to the top of FCRC will impact the way women are viewed in the real estate industry.

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The Lobby

Forest City Ratner Confirms Succession Plans

MaryAnne Gilmartin

Forest City Ratner Companies today confirmed what has long been understood in New York real estate circles: MaryAnne Gilmartin will succeed Bruce Ratner as president and chief executive officer of the development company.

Mr. Ratner, 68, will serve as the executive chairman of FCRC, stepping aside so that Ms. Gilmartin, executive vice president of commercial and residential development, can take over.

“I’m exhilarated by the notion of being able to partner with Bruce going forward, but I know business,” Ms. Gilmartin told The Commercial Observer in a telephone interview. “I am a developer at heart so Bruce and I are like-minded in terms of the importance of civic building and community and how we create great places.” Read More

The Lobby

Larry Silverstein is Latest High-Profile CEO to Step Down

Larry Silverstein

Larry Silverstein, the affable face of Silverstein Properties and the man behind the redevelopment of the World Trade Center, is stepping down as CEO – the latest of a string of high-profile real estate CEOs to step down this year.

The co-chief executive at the firm, Mr. Silvertein’s heir apparent, Marty Burger, who joined in 2010 as executive vice president after 15 years with Related Companies, will succeed Mr. Silverstein, The Wall Street Journal reported.  Mr. Silverstein will stay on as chairman.

“Marty is a terrific young guy, and his function is really going to be to grow the company,” the 81-year-old real estate icon, Mr. Silverstein, told the Journal. Read More

The Sit-Down

Marketing the World: Silverstein Properties’ Jeremy Moss on Leasing the Country’s Most Conspicuous Building Complex

(Credit: Darcy Rogers)

Before Jeremy Moss, senior vice president of leasing at Silverstein Properties, joined the firm four and a half years ago, he spent eight years working at Forest City Ratner, a tenure that culminated in a role managing the leasing of the office space at the New York Times building. He called working alongside Bruce Ratner Read More