Friday, April 12, 2013

Forest City Ratner heir apparent Gilmartin is moving to Park Slope, within walking distance of the arena

Say what you will about Forest City Ratner Executive VP and heir apparent MaryAnne Gilmartin (and I sure have), but unlike her boss, Bruce Ratner, who's never lived in Brooklyn, Gilmartin's moving (back) to Brooklyn after a long stint in Westchester.

She and her husband last week closed on what Brownstoner called last week's biggest sale, a townhouse on St. John's Place between Sixth and Seventh avenues in north Park Slope. The house listed at $3.75 million and sold for $3.85 million. (It had been bought in 2007 for $2.9 million.)

I'd suggest the move represents a reaffirmation of Atlantic Yards, at least the first phase (defined, for business purposes, as the seven towers on the arena block and parking lot); an avoidance of long commutes; and a vote of confidence in Brooklyn's private schools.

Snark, and not

The New York Observer, which broke the story, offered a whiff of snark, pointing out that Gilmartin couldn't use eminent domain for the home and that the design is a distinct contrast from Forest City's modernist tastes.

Moreover, it's close enough to walk to the arena, "but not so close that she’ll have to compete with arena-goers over parking, or deal with the Barclays Center’s booming bass or the sudden outbreaks of Bieber fever that have been known to grip the neighborhood."

But the article could have been a little tough on Gilmartin's statement to Westchester magazine that  “the most baseless criticism” was "That I don’t really know Brooklyn, so I’m not qualified to develop a project there. I lived in Brooklyn from 1988 to 1993.”

As I commented regarding that Westchester magazine interview, maybe that 1993 recollection is why she thinks Brooklyn would just roll over at Forest City's effort to corral valuable public property for itself without any public bidding.

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