Skip to main content

Forest City Enterprises on stalled B2 tower: $155 million project cost could increase to $215-$265 million

In a press release regarding 2014 Third-Quarter and Year-to-Date Results, Forest City Enterprises CEO David LaRue spoke generally about the stalled B2 tower:
"At B2 BKLYN at Pacific Park Brooklyn, our immediate goal is to restart that project quickly and in the most cost-effective manner possible, and we are exploring multiple options to do so. We also continue to pursue a variety of legal remedies to resolve ongoing disputes with the construction contractor."
The company's 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission provided far more detail, including, as noted at bottom, that a building expected to cost $155 million, including construction costs and land, could cost from $215 million or even $265 million once litigation and increased costs were calculated.

The 10-Q describes Forest City buying out its partner:
During the three months ended September 30, 2014, the Company acquired the remaining noncontrolling interest of Arizona State Retirement System in the under construction B2 BKLYN, an apartment building in Brooklyn, New York. Following the transaction, the Company determined that B2 BKLYN was no longer a VIE [variable interest entity]. The impact of the removal of the entity from VIE status to the parenthetical disclosures on the December 31, 2013 Consolidated Balance Sheet were decreases of $104,408,000 to real estate, net, $1,306,000 to cash and equivalents, $46,801,000 to restricted cash, $3,110,000 to other assets, $56,605,000 to mortgage debt and notes payable, nonrecourse and $7,656,000 to accounts payable, accrued expenses and other liabilities.
The document described the detlays and the conflict:
B2 BKLYN is an apartment building under construction in Brooklyn, New York adjacent to the Brooklyn Arena at the Pacific Park Brooklyn project. In 2013, we contributed the land and development opportunity into our $400,000,000 residential development fund with Arizona State Retirement System (“ASRS”) and retained a 25% ownership. We decided to use modular construction to build this 32 story, 363 unit apartment building.
High rise modular construction has not previously been done at the heights of B2 BKLYN. The project has encountered, and may continue to encounter, delays and increased costs in the fabrication and assembly of the modular units. In April 2014, based on internal estimates and the pace of construction, the anticipated completion of this project was determined to be delayed until the fourth quarter of 2015. However, as a result of recent actions taken by Skanska USA (the” Construction Manager”), that date may not be achievable. We had a $117,000,000 fixed price contract with the Construction Manager to construct the apartment building. On August 27, 2014, the Construction Manager ceased construction and on September 23, 2014, terminated the contract. In response, on September 30, 2014, we issued a notice of default and intent to terminate the same contract due to the Construction Manager’s termination of the contract among other defaults, which notice expires on November 7, 2014. Additionally, lawsuits to enforce their respective rights under the governing documents have been filed by the construction manager and us.
On September 30, 2014, we bought out ASRS’s equity interest in B2 BKLYN for $40,500,000. Since this asset was a consolidated asset prior to acquisition, there was no adjustment to the historical asset basis, as the cash payment was recorded as a reduction of noncontrolling interest with the difference between the cash and the noncontrolling interest balance being recorded as a decrease to additional paid-in capital. This action allows the fund to pursue other development opportunities rather than utilizing the majority of the capital of the fund to pursue the completion of B2 BKLYN. In addition, since we now own 100%, we unilaterally make decisions regarding the asset, its construction and the litigation associated with it.
It describes a mortgage in default and potential difficulties, but says, as noted in bold, that they expect to recover the costs of delay:
Subsequent to the construction stoppage, we received a notice of default on the nonrecourse mortgage secured by B2 BKLYN. We have since entered into a short term forbearance agreement while a longer term agreement is negotiated. The short term agreement expires by or no later than November 5, 2014 and in the event we are unable to complete the negotiation of a longer term agreement, or cure the default, we may be required to repay the current outstanding balance of $45,000,000 currently secured by, amongst other things, $37,500,000 of restricted bond proceeds included in restricted cash and an equity letter of credit of $9,300,000. In addition, we may be required to fund the apartment building until the uncertainties regarding its construction are resolved.
Based on the recent events, including the ceasing of construction and litigation related to the construction of B2 BKLYN, we are investigating and evaluating alternatives to restart and complete the construction. We are in the very early stages of the litigation with the Construction Manager. Based on current information available, we have updated our impairment analysis using a probability weighted approach factoring in the scenarios currently being evaluated to complete B2 BKLYN. Currently, our analysis indicates the future probability weighted estimated undiscounted cash flows would be sufficient to recover the carrying value of the asset. Significant estimates were used in the determination of these estimated future undiscounted cash flows. Based on the uncertainty caused by the recent events and the significant estimates used in the calculation, we will continue to review our impairment calculations as additional information becomes available. Changes to the estimates made and future clarity to the various scenarios being evaluated are expected to cause fluctuations to our estimated probability weighted undiscounted cash flows. If we determine future estimated probability weighted undiscounted cash flows no longer exceed the carrying value of the asset, then the asset would be recorded at its estimated fair value, resulting in a future impairment, which would likely be material.
However, the cost of construction could be much higher, and cause a loss:
We have approximately $155,000,000 capitalized on the Consolidated Balance Sheet related to B2 BKLYN at September 30, 2014, consisting of land, building and capitalized interest. Based on the most current information available, total project costs could increase up to an amount ranging from $215,000,000 to $265,000,000. Significant estimates were used to develop the range of project costs and are expected to change as future clarity to the various construction scenarios used continue to develop. As litigation and negotiations continue, it is reasonably possible that construction costs will increase to a point where the capitalized cost is not recoverable from future undiscounted cash flows, resulting in an impairment of the asset.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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…

Is Barclays Center dumping the Islanders, or are they renegotiating? Evidence varies (bond doc, cash receipts); NHL attendance biggest variable

The Internet has been abuzz since Bloomberg's Scott Soshnick reported 1/30/17, using an overly conclusory headline, that Brooklyn’s Barclays Center Is Dumping the Islanders.

That would end an unusual arrangement in which the arena agrees to pay the team a fixed sum (minus certain expenses), in exchange for keeping tickets, suite, and sponsorship revenue.

The arena would earn more without the hockey team, according to Bloomberg, which cited “a financial projection shared with potential investors showed the Islanders won’t contribute any revenue after the 2018-19 season--a clear signal that the team won’t play there, the people said."

That "signal," however, is hardly definitive, as are the media leaks about a prospective new arena in Queens, as shown in the screenshot below from Newsday. Both sides are surely pushing for advantage, if not bluffing.

Consider: the arena and the Islanders can't even formally begin their opt-out talks until after this season. The disc…

Skanska says it "expected to assemble a properly designed modular building, not engage in an iterative R&D experiment"

On 12/10/16, I noted that FastCo.Design's Prefab's Moment of Reckoning article dialed back the gush on the 461 Dean modular tower compared to the publication's previous coverage.

Still, I noted that the article relied on developer Forest City Ratner and architect SHoP to put the best possible spin on what was clearly a failure. From the article: At the project's outset, it took the factory (managed by Skanska at the time) two to three weeks to build a module. By the end, under FCRC's management, the builders cut that down to six days. "The project took a little longer than expected and cost a little bit more than expected because we started the project with the wrong contractor," [Forest City's Adam] Greene says.Skanska jabs back
Well, Forest City's estranged partner Skanska later weighed in--not sure whether they weren't asked or just missed a deadline--and their article was updated 12/13/16. Here's Skanska's statement, which shows th…

Not just logistics: bypassing Brooklyn for DNC 2016 also saved on optics (role of Russian oligarch, Shanghai government)

Surely the logistical challenges of holding a national presidential nominating convention in Brooklyn were the main (and stated) reasons for the Democratic National Committee's choice of Philadelphia.

And, as I wrote in NY Slant, the huge security cordon in Philadelphia would have been impossible in Brooklyn.

But consider also the optics. As I wrote in my 1/21/15 op-ed in the Times arguing that the choice of Brooklyn was a bad idea:
The arena also raises ethically sticky questions for the Democrats. While the Barclays Center is owned primarily by Forest City Ratner, 45 percent of it is owned by the Russian billionaire Mikhail D. Prokhorov (who also owns 80 percent of the Brooklyn Nets). Mr. Prokhorov has a necessarily cordial relationship with Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin — though he has been critical of Mr. Putin in the past, last year, at the Russian president’s request, he tried to transfer ownership of the Nets to one of his Moscow-based companies. An oligarch-owned a…

Former ESDC CEO Lago returns to NYC to head City Planning Commission

Carl Weisbrod, Mayor Bill de Blasio's City Planning Commission Chairman and Director of the Department of City Planning, is resigning,

And he's being replaced by Marisa Lago, currently a federal official, but who Atlantic Yards-ologists remember as the short-term Empire State Development Corporation CEO who, in an impolitic but candid 2009 statement, acknowledged that the project would take "decades."

Still, Lago not long after that played the good soldier at a May 2009 Senate oversight hearing, justifying changes in the project but claiming the public benefits remained the same.

By returning to City Planning, Lago will join former ESDC General Counsel Anita Laremont, who after retiring from the state (and taking a pension) got the job with the city.

Back at planning

Lago, a lawyer, in 1983 began work as an aide to City Planning Chairman Herb Sturz, and later served as the General Counsel to the president of the NYC Economic Development Corporation, Weisbrod himself.