Skip to main content

Bruce Ratner's bio, currently missing from Forest City Ratner's web site

Just in case Bruce Ratner's bio--which was apparently written in 2004--doesn't reappear on the revamped Forest City Ratner web site, here's a look at the old one, courtesy of the Internet Archive. The screen shot captures only part of the text, which is reproduced below.

BRUCE C. RATNER Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Bruce C. Ratner is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC). Under Mr. Ratner’s leadership, FCRC has become one of the foremost urban real estate developers in the New York metropolitan area.

After graduating cum laude from Harvard College in 1967 and receiving a law degree from Columbia University School of Law in 1970, Mr. Ratner joined the administration of Mayor John Lindsay as the director of a Model Cities program and later as the head of the Consumer Protection Division of the Department of Consumer Affairs. Following a four-year stint as a professor at New York University Law School, Mr. Ratner returned to government as the Commissioner of Consumer Affairs under Mayor Edward Koch, where he was responsible for designing major initiatives in consumer-fraud protection that became models for subsequent national legislation.

While at Consumer Affairs, Mr. Ratner also became interested in how major national retail outlets had long underserved inner-city residents and how the city itself had failed to utilize major business and transit hubs to offset corporate flight to New Jersey and the surrounding suburbs. These interests, along with a broader commitment to projects that enhance local communities, remain a driving force within FCRC.

One Pierrepont Plaza, which opened in 1988, was the first new office construction in downtown Brooklyn in a quarter of a century. The project, which was the first undertaken by FCRC, helped define what has since become New York City’s third central business district and contributed to what today is considered the “Brooklyn renaissance.” Since then, Mr. Ratner and FCRC have steadily developed MetroTech Center, a $1 billion, 16-acre campus with 14 buildings in the heart of downtown Brooklyn, which now hosts 20,000 jobs in its 6.4 million square feet of commercial, academic and high-tech office space.

Atlantic Center, a 400,000-square-foot shopping mall that opened in Brooklyn in 1996, adjacent to the Atlantic Terminal transportation hub, grew out of Mr. Ratner’s desire to bring major national retail outlets to a historically underserved part of the city. In 2005 Mr. Ratner expanded on this vision and finished the Atlantic Terminal Office and Retail Complex, a 10-story, 350,000-square-foot office building constructed above a four-story, 470,000-square-foot retail shopping center, located next door to Atlantic Center. The Bank of New York serves as the anchor tenant of the Atlantic Terminal office building, occupying 320,000 square feet and providing offices for 1,500 employees. The retail center’s anchor tenant, Target, occupies 194,000 square feet on three floors.

On a site adjacent to Atlantic Center, Mr. Ratner is preparing to construct Atlantic Yards, a 7.7 million-square-foot mixed-use development designed by internationally acclaimed architect Frank Gehry. Encompassing 8 acres of public open space, more than 2 million square feet of commercial space and more than double that amount of residential space—at a variety of price points, including affordable housing—Atlantic Yards will be anchored by the 800,000-square-foot, 18,000-seat Barclays Center arena, designed to be the home of the Nets professional basketball team, recently purchased by a group of investors led by Mr. Ratner.

Beyond Brooklyn, which is also home to Forest City Ratner Companies, FCRC continues to create major retail projects throughout the city and the metropolitan area. In Manhattan, FCRC developed the headquarters for the New York Mercantile Exchange in lower Manhattan, near the World Financial Center. FCRC played a key part in the rebirth of Times Square with the 42nd Street Entertainment and Retail Complex, a 335,000-square-foot development that features a 25-screen AMC Cineplex and a Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, topped with a 25-story, 455-room Hilton Hotel with sky-lobby restaurant. Forest City joined forces with The New York Times Company to build the newspaper’s new headquarters near Times Square, a 1.5 million-square-foot structure that includes approximately 700,000 rentable square feet of Class A office space. Designed by renowned architect Renzo Piano, the 52-story building is the first high-rise in the U.S. to feature an all-glass curtain wall with a sunscreen made of ceramic rods. In Battery Park City, FCRC developed a 617,000-square-foot mixed-use complex that includes a 14-story Embassy Suites Hotel, retail stores and a 4,000-seat, 16-screen United Artists Theater. Additional FCRC projects include The Shops at Bruckner Boulevard in the East Bronx; the Shops at Gun Hill Road in the Pelham Gardens/Baychester section of the Bronx; the Shops at Northern Boulevard in Woodside, Queens; Columbia Park in North Bergen, New Jersey; The Heights on Court Street in Brooklyn, and The Stores at Richmond Avenue on Staten Island.

Other FCRC projects under development include lower Manhattan’s 76-story Beekman Tower, designed by world-famous architect Frank Gehry with a glass-and-titanium curtain wall. Most of the building will house luxury residential units. In East Harlem, FCRC has teamed up with Blumenfeld Development Group to transform the former Washburn Wire Factory into East River Plaza, a 485,000-square-foot shopping complex just off the FDR Drive. And in Westchester County, Mr. Ratner is developing Ridge Hill, a mixed-use project that will include some 1.3 million square feet of retail space, 160,000 square feet of office and research facilities, and up to 1,000 mixed-income apartments, all arranged around a landscaped town square.

As a company, FCRC strives to be a responsible corporate neighbor that contributes to the betterment of the community. FCRC has maintained a goal of 14 percent minority-owned business and 9 percent women-owned business participation on all of its construction projects without government-mandated goals, and usually exceeds those percentages. Through the Community Labor Exchange, an aggressive community involvement program, all contractors on FCRC projects make one of every four field construction job slots available for a community hire.

On a personal level, Mr. Ratner is also a firm believer in giving back to the community. Mr. Ratner engages in philanthropic endeavors that promote social justice, a spirit of community and an improved quality of life. As such, he provides time, energy and financial support to educational and cultural institutions.

A supporter of the arts, Mr. Ratner works extensively with the world-renowned Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). He has been a BAM trustee since 1989 and was the chairman of its board from 1992 until 2001. As a result of his involvement with BAM, Mr. Ratner also created the MetroTech Downtown Fund, which encourages contributions to the arts from companies moving into Brooklyn.

In 1994, Mr. Ratner was the recipient of the New York State Governor’s Arts Award. Two years later the Metropolitan Museum of Art elected him as a trustee.

Mr. Ratner is a firm believer in the value of education. He has served as vice chairman of the board of Long Island University, and he sits on the board of The Futures in Education Foundation (a foundation for the preservation of Catholic education). Mr. Ratner and Forest City Ratner also support a number of educational programs throughout the city, including the Promise Scholarship Fund of Polytechnic University and the Brooklyn Bureau of Community Service. He is an overseer of the Weill Cornell Medical College and is on the board of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. In 1996, Mr. Ratner received an honorary Doctorate of Law from Pratt Institute.

Mr. Ratner is a strong advocate for New York City’s park system, believing that our parks play a crucial role in economic development and in enhancing the urban environment. He is currently a board member of the City Parks Foundation. He also serves on the boards of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, the International Rescue Committee and the Museum of Jewish Heritage/A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.

As a member of the board of directors of the New York City Partnership, Mr. Ratner was heavily involved in framing the debate over economic development issues in the New York region. A report he wrote, “Marketing New York City in the Global Economy,” triggered the partnership’s initiative in promoting international investment. Mr. Ratner was also a panelist on urban issues at President Clinton’s Economic Summit in December 1992.

Born on January 23, 1945, Mr. Ratner has two daughters: Rebecca graduated from Brown University in 1995 and Elizabeth from Harvard College in 1997.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Barclays Center/Levy Restaurants hit with suit charging discrimination on disability, race; supervisors said to use vicious slurs, pursue retaliation

The Daily News has an article today, Barclays Center hit with $5M suit claiming discrimination against disabled, while the New York Post headlined its article Barclays Center sued over taunting disabled employees.

While that's part of the lawsuit, more prominent are claims of racial discrimination and retaliation, with black employees claiming repeated abuse by white supervisors, preferential treatment toward Hispanic colleagues, and retaliation in response to complaints.

Two individual supervisors, for example, are charged with  referring to black employees as “black motherfucker,” “dumb black bitch,” “black monkey,” “piece of shit” and “nigger.”

Two have referred to an employee blind in one eye as “cyclops,” and “the one-eyed guy,” and an employee with a nose disorder as “the nose guy.”

There's been no official response yet though arena spokesman Barry Baum told the Daily News they, but take “allegations of this kind very seriously” and have "a zero tolerance policy for…

Behind the "empty railyards": 40 years of ATURA, Baruch's plan, and the city's diffidence

To supporters of Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project, it's a long-awaited plan for long-overlooked land. "The Atlantic Yards area has been available for any developer in America for over 100 years,” declared Borough President Marty Markowitz at a 5/26/05 City Council hearing.

Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, mused on 11/15/05 to WNYC's Brian Lehrer, “Isn’t it interesting that these railyards have sat for decades and decades and decades, and no one has done a thing about them.” Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco, in a 12/19/04 New York Times article ("In a War of Words, One Has the Power to Wound") described the railyards as "an empty scar dividing the community."

But why exactly has the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Vanderbilt Yard never been developed? Do public officials have some responsibility?

At a hearing yesterday of the Brooklyn Borough Board Atlantic Yards Committee, Kate Suisma…

Barclays Center event June 11 to protest plans to expand Israeli draft; questions about logistics

At right is a photo of a poster spotted in Hasidic Williamsburg right. Clearly there's an event scheduled at the Barclays Center aimed at the Haredi Jewish community (strict Orthodox Jews who reject secular culture), but the lack of English text makes it cryptic.

The website Matzav.com explains, Protest Against Israeli Draft of Bnei Yeshiva Rescheduled for Barclays Center:
A large asifa to protest the drafting of bnei yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel into the Israeli army that had been set to take place this month will instead be held on Sunday, 17 Sivan/June 11, at the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn, NY. So attendees at a big gathering will protest an apparent change of policy that will make it much more difficult for traditional Orthodox Jewish students--both Hasidic (who follow a rebbe) and non-Hasidic (who don't)--to get deferments from the draft. Comments on the Yeshiva World website explain some of the debate.

The logistical questions

What's unclear is how large the ev…

Atlanta's Atlantic Yards moves ahead

First mentioned in April, the Atlantic Yards project in Atlanta is moving ahead--and has the potential to nudge Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn further down in Google searches.

According to a 5/30/17 press release, Hines and Invesco Real Estate Announce T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards:
Hines, the international real estate firm, and Invesco Real Estate, a global real estate investment manager, today announced a joint venture on behalf of one of Invesco Real Estate’s institutional clients to develop two progressive office projects in Atlanta totalling 700,000 square feet. T3 West Midtown will be a 200,000-square-foot heavy timber office development and Atlantic Yards will consist of 500,000 square feet of progressive office space in two buildings. Both projects are located on sites within Atlantic Station in the flourishing Midtown submarket.
Hines will work with Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture (HPA) as the design architect for both T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards. DLR Group will be t…

Forest City acknowledges unspecified delays in Pacific Park, cites $300 million "impairment" in project value; what about affordable housing pledge?

Updated Monday Nov. 7 am: Note follow-up coverage of stock price drop and investor conference call and pending questions.

Pacific Park Brooklyn is seriously delayed, Forest City Realty Trust said yesterday in a news release, which further acknowledged that the project has caused a $300 million impairment, or write-down of the asset, as the expected revenues no longer exceed the carrying cost.

The Cleveland-based developer, parent of Brooklyn-based Forest City Ratner, which is a 30% investor in Pacific Park along with 70% partner/overseer Greenland USA, blamed the "significant impairment" on an oversupply of market-rate apartments, the uncertain fate of the 421-a tax break, and a continued increase in construction costs.

While the delay essentially confirms the obvious, given that two major buildings have not launched despite plans to do so, it raises significant questions about the future of the project, including:
if market-rate construction is delayed, will the affordable h…

Revising official figures, new report reveals Nets averaged just 11,622 home fans last season, Islanders drew 11,200 (and have option to leave in 2018)

The Brooklyn Nets drew an average of only 11,622 fans per home game in their most recent (and lousy) season, more than 23% below the announced official attendance figure, and little more than 65% of the Barclays Center's capacity.

The New York Islanders also drew some 19.4% below announced attendance, or 11,200 fans per home game.

The surprising numbers were disclosed in a consultant's report attached to the Preliminary Official Statement for the refinancing of some $462 million in tax-exempt bonds for the Barclays Center (plus another $20 million in taxable bonds). The refinancing should lower costs to Mikhail Prokhorov, owner of the arena operating company, by and average of $3.4 million a year through 2044 in paying off arena construction.

According to official figures, the Brooklyn Nets attendance averaged 17,187 in the debut season, 2012-13, 17,251 in 2013-14, 17,037 in 2014-15, and 15,125 in the most recent season, 2015-16. For hoops, the arena holds 17,732.

But official…

So, Forest City has some property subject to the future Gowanus rezoning

Writing yesterday, MAP: Who Owns All the Property Along the Gowanus Canal, DNAinfo's Leslie Albrecht lays out the positioning of various real estate players along the Gowanus Canal, a Superfund site:
As the city considers whether to rezone Gowanus and, perhaps, morph the gritty low-rise industrial area into a hot new neighborhood of residential towers (albeit at a fraction of the height of Manhattan's supertall buildings), DNAinfo reviewed property records along the canal to find out who stands to benefit most from the changes.
Investors have poured at least $440 million into buying land on the polluted waterway and more than a third of the properties have changed hands in the past decade, according to an examination of records for the nearly 130 properties along the 1.8-mile canal. While the single largest landowner is developer Property Markets Group, other landowners include Kushner Companies, Alloy Development, Two Trees, and Forest City New York.

Forest City's plans unc…