Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Forest City: Barclays Center ribbon-cutting will be Sept. 21; Investor Day at arena will be Oct. 22

There will be a 'formal ribbon-cutting event" to mark the opening of the Barclays Center arena on Friday, Sept. 21, David LaRue, CEO of Forest City Enterprises (parent of arena developer Forest City Ratner), said today.

(That's one week before the first concert, with Jay-Z, on Sept. 28.)

LaRue and other executives participated in a quarterly conference call with investment analysts, following up yesterday's press release regarding second quarter results.

CFO Bob O'Brien also provided an update on Investor Day, which will be held at the arena on Monday, Oct. 22. He said it would be an afternoon event, with optional evening activities, including a concert at the arena.

The event, he said, would help introduce new investors to Forest City and update them on the company's progress, as well as provide a closer look at the arena and Atlantic Yards.

About the arena

In his remarks, LaRue cited "a tremendous amount of excitement building in antiicpaton of the arena opening," mentioning the media coverage.

Reprising information in the press release, he said that approximately 200 events were committed, that "ticket sales are meeting expectations" and there's a "growing interest in suite sales and sponsorship opportunities."

He repeated that forecasted contractually obligated revenues are now at 75%, without mentioning, as I pointed out, that they must have increased since the second quarter ended July 31.

La Rue called the arena opening "a milestone event for us as a company," because it is the last of "the big three New York development projects we had under way when the recession hit," the others being 8 Spruce Street in Lower Manhattan and Ridge Hill in Yonkers.

A year ago, Forest City Enterprises had $1.7 billion in projects under construction, according to its pro rata share. As of the end of the second quarter, the figure is $627.1 million. When the arena opens, "another $318 million of our share will move out of under construciotn and into the operating portfolio," he said.

Atlantic Yards housing

LaRue only briefly mentioned the rest of the project: "Additionally, as we have stated on prior calls, we are planning on and expect to start on our first residential building at the Atlantic Yards by year end."

No analyst had a question about Atlantic Yards. The tower, of course, has been postponed repeatedly.

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