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January 1, 2007

A Family Company, Forest City, Sets Out to Transform the District

The Washington Post
By Dana Hedgpeth

Here's a surprise, the City uses eminent domain to build a new venue for a relocated professional sports team, and first in to develop the surrounding area is...

...Forest City!

"We got into Washington because we believe in cities," said Deborah Ratner Salzberg, granddaughter of one of the firm's founders and head of the company's Washington operations. "We believe in redeveloping cores of existing cities. We look for underutilized areas where we can make a difference. We felt these are areas that fit that."

The similarities and ironies don't end there:

Over the next decade, Forest City plans to build an almost $2 billion development of 6 million square feet -- a space almost as large as the Pentagon. Its plans call for preserving the historic buildings and turning a boilermaker shop into a retail area, creating apartments from a former carpentry building and converting an old gun mount factory into condominiums. It will also put in streets, offices, lofts and waterfront parks. In tribute to its Navy history, the project will be called the Yards.


NoLandGrab: The plans in Washington to "add streets" and for the adaptive reuse of old buildings will make local activists and organizations cry over the lack of vision for Atlantic Yards.

Fort Greene and Prospect Heights residents and groups like the Municipal Art Society and National Trust for Historic Preservation have been calling to add streets to the "Atlantic Yards" project and to save historical structures in the footprint, such as the Ward Bakery Building and the former stables for the L.I. Railroad.

This proves that Forest City actually knows better, but unfortunately doesn't care enough to do the right thing when it could affect the corporation's bottom line.

Posted by lumi at January 1, 2007 10:26 AM