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May 9, 2012

Observer downgrades Ratner (not completely fairly) from #48 to #72 in "Power 100" list; the fate of modular could change all that

Atlantic Yards Report

Bruce Ratner can't be all that thrilled about his plummet in the latest iteration of the New York Observer's Real Estate Power 100, from last year's #48 to this year's #72.

And, wouldja believe it, I think the Observer went too far. Sure, Ratner deserves a downgrade because of the continued delays in his plan to build the first Atlantic Yards apartment tower. But if Ratner can pull off modular construction, likely only with help from the city and/or state, you can bet he'll jump in next year's list. And he's opening an arena, no small feat.

As for the observation that "the brand, not to mention the family name, has been so blackened in Brooklyn, it will be a wonder if [Ratner] ever builds there again," well, that sounds like the item got outsourced to NoLandGrab, previously un-consulted by the Observer on sunnier Ratner mentions.

I agree the brand has been blackened, including by the loss last month in court on the environmental review case and the pending lawsuit filed against Forest City Ratner and its Community Benefits Agreement partner BUILD, plus the machinations in Yonkers. But I don't think that most elected officials and reporters/editorialists either agree or would say so publicly.

And if Ratner pulls off the modular plan, he sure will be building in Brooklyn again. Perhaps the Observer has some insight on modular snags?

This year's mention

72. Bruce Ratner (48) Chairman and CEO, Forest City Ratner
Mr. Ratner has taken his ball, but he can't go home yet. The Barclays Center will actually open on time this fall, bringing professional sports back to Brooklyn, as well as Jay-Z, but the Cleveland-born developer has still yet to secure financing for the now-well-behind-schedule apartment towers. Those are now planned to be built modular, which has the potential to transform the way the city builds, but most New Yorkers will believe that when they see it. He completed one of the most beautiful buildings on the skyline by the world's most famous architect, with sky-high rents to boot, but the brand, not to mention the family name, has been so blackened in Brooklyn, it will be a wonder if he ever builds there again.

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Posted by eric at May 9, 2012 1:26 PM