Sunday, October 13, 2013

Does the Atlantic Yards deal with Chinese government-owned Greenland Group include an office tower?

Does the tentative deal, announced two days ago, for Shanghai-based Greenland Group Co. to buy 70% of the remaining Atlantic Yards project include the long-delayed office tower planned for the space now being occupied by the "temporary" Barclays Center plaza?

Maybe, but if so, neither state-owned Greenland nor developer Forest City Ratner is emphasizing it. After all, that plaza is key to the arena's appeal, even if the project likely never would have made it through the approval process without office space promising jobs.

The Wall Street Journal, which broke the story before the official press release was issued, stated, "In addition to the apartment towers, the project includes one office building and retail space."

"Residential and commercial" project

But the official press release was rather cagy:
Brooklyn-based Forest City Ratner Companies, LLC ("FCRC"), the New York-based subsidiary of Forest City Enterprises, Inc., and Shanghai-based Greenland Group Co. announced today that their affiliates have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding for a proposed joint venture to develop Atlantic Yards, a 22-acre residential and commercial real estate project in Brooklyn. The joint venture would cover both phase one and phase two of the project -- excluding Barclays Center and the first housing tower, B2 -- including infrastructure, a platform and residential units. The agreement is subject to negotiation and necessary regulatory approvals.
The word "commercial" often connotes office space, but also could mean retail space.

The rest of the press release provided no further detail on that issue. Those quoted focused on housing.

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