« Judge Rules Forest Ratner Acquired Building Illegally | Main | Demo Map Update »

March 8, 2007

A Cleveland Ratner offers timeline candor: Arena by 2010; project would take 15 years

Atlantic Yards Report

Forest City Enterprises CEO Chuck Ratner dropped a bomb in his address at the Citigroup 2007 Global Property CEO Conference:

Forest City Ratner (FCR) executives have claimed that the planned Brooklyn arena (aka Barclays Center) would open in 2009 and the Atlantic Yards project would take ten years. However, executives from the parent company were far more candid while speaking on Tuesday to investment analysts.

The arena would open by 2010, at best.

The project would take at least 15 years--and that's from a CEO who acknowledges that the company is "terrible" at predicting when a project will go from idea to reality.

Norman Oder reminds us that this is what insiders and outsiders have already been saying.

FCE-Execs.jpgOder also transcribes the discussion between two Forest City execs, where they say the darnedest things:

"Everybody know the project? It’s Downtown Brooklyn..." [For the record, the project is in Prospect Heights.]

"We would expect and our goal is to have vertical construction up and operating within 30 to 36 months, and hopefully, the current timeline is to have the ball team open in 10-11?"

Return expectations have not changed since we started. That is--this is going to be a 15-year buildout...

We’re very good at estimating markets, we’re very good at estimating rents, at estimating lease-ups, and estimating costs. We are terrible, and we’ve been a developer for 50 years, on these big multi-use, public private urban developments, to be able to predict when it will go from idea to reality.

I have a daughter who lives in Park Slope. She’s just had a second baby, she’s looking for a place to move--it’s unbelievable to me what she has to pay. So I don’t expect our returns to moderate.

Maybe Forest City Ratner Executive VP Jim Stuckey's copy of the memo outlining these important delays in the project's timeline was sent to the wrong address, but he can read more on Atlantic Yards Report (article).

Posted by lumi at March 8, 2007 9:52 AM