In a new twist on the lawsuits being traded by Bruce Ratner and the Swedish real estate development group Skanska over their shared part of the Atlantic Yards development in Brooklyn, Ratner is now demanding that Skanska give its nearby modular building factory to his firm, according to a report on New York’s The Daily News.
Ratner wants Skanska to do this so that he can put the more than 150 construction workers who lost their jobs after Skanska halted construction of a residential building there back to work. Skanska did so citing cost overruns on the partnership the two firms have in the building. The 32 story residential tower which is to be the world’s tallest pre-fabricated building was being constructed with modular components from Skanska’s nearby factory.
The factory in question, FCS Modular, was jointly created by Skanska and Forest City to produce the modular pieces that will make up the new building.
“We have an obligation to the workers who have lost their jobs because of the unauthorized, forced furlough that you have imposed on them. We strongly believe, as a joint venture, we have an obligation to the 157 workers who have lost their jobs because of the unauthorized, forced furlough that you, as managing member, have imposed on them” Forest City Ratner CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin wrote to Skanska in a letter which was released to the press. “We (believe) this is the fastest way to reopen the factory while (we) seek to resolve the broader dispute.”
In response, Skanska COO Richard Kennedy said that since Forest City chose to release the letter to the press then that firm was “more interested in engaging in a propaganda exercise (than) fixing the commercial and design issues that led to the unfortunate need to shut-down the project and factory. As for the letter itself, it is completely devoid of substance and Skanska Modular will address it consistent with the parties’ partnership agreement.”
“Skanska simply will not be coerced into surrendering its contractual rights by Forest City’s inappropriate tactics, ” Kennedy added.
Kennedy was referring to the many problems that the project has had since Ratner first began it and which recently rebranded itself as Pacific Park Brooklyn. Already in development for 11 years, Ratner recently sold off a 70% stake in it to the American division of the Shanghai based Greenland Holding Group.