October 24, 2007
Forest City's Minieri Gets Tested in New York
Brooklynite Executive Steers Big Atlantic-Yards Project Amid Tough Credit Market
Wall St. Journal
By ALEX FRANGOS
[Minieri] will report to Bruce Ratner, chief executive of Forest City Ratner Cos., Forest City's New York branch. Ms. Minieri, 47 years old, a Brooklyn native, talks about her career, credit markets, and the ambitious -- and controversial -- set of projects she's now in position to lead into fruition.
WSJ: What effect do the current credit markets and housing softness have on projects such as Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn [a development that will include 16 skyscrapers with 6,400 housing units, offices and shopping as well as a new arena for the New Jersey Nets basketball team]?
Ms. Minieri: We will probably encounter a couple of different market cycles as we move through that development. We think it's a tremendous opportunity to help the economy to revitalize the neighborhood -- all the things we like to do in our development projects. We are on the site now, doing some work. We are waiting for the conclusion on some of the litigation. We are proceeding according to plan.
WSJ: How does it feel to work on a major Brooklyn project such as Atlantic Yards?
Ms. Minieri: I can't tell you how it really feels to be a Brooklynite and to be part of a company that's done incredibly historic things ... It gives me the goose bumps.
NoLandGrab: We're not even going to comment on Minieri's skin affliction and we'll leave the reading of the tea leaves to others who have already posted.
Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, It's a Fragile Situation...
DDDB noted Minieri's "barely concealed panic about the credit markets" and "her inability to speak honestly about the company being behind its own planned schedule."
Atlantic Yards Report, FCR executive claims: "We are proceeding according to plan"
Norman Oder reads the tea leaves:
WSJ: Given your financial background, does the stress in the credit markets keep you up at night?
Ms. Minieri: The availability of capital to do these terrific developments and stimulate the economy concerns me.... Value creation is impacted tremendously when you have to pay more for financing proceeds. [Re Atlantic Yards] We will probably encounter a couple of different market cycles as we move through that development.
Translation: the project could be delayed well beyond the stated ten-year time line and, as with the Frank Gehry-designed Beekman Tower project that went from condos to rentals, things can change.
People have asked me if I thought Minieri's promotion signaled anything untoward. Given that the job change was not announced by p.r. guru Howard Rubenstein, as with Jim Stuckey's mysterious departure, and that Minieri was made available for a Wall Street Journal interview, we can assume that parent company Forest City Enterprises and subsidiary Forest City Ratner are quite happy with it.
Posted by lumi at October 24, 2007 7:38 AM