Saturday, December 20, 2014

Four-year modular buildout: Forest City now says B2 tower would be completed at end of 2016, says "same technology" is fine

NY1 had an exclusive last night, headlined After Halting Construction, Forest City Rehires Employees to Finish Tallest Modular Tower.

Even based on the unskeptical reporting, it could have more clearly been headlined "Forest City Rehires Some Modular Employees and Seeks Help Finding the Rest." After all, Forest City has rehired 25 workers and set up a hotline (718-637-5106) to reach more of the 125 remaining ones.

Two more years?

But the real news came at the end, when Jeanine Ramirez reported, "With production set to get underway the company says the building [the 32-story B2 tower] is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016."

That would be four years after the building launched, and two years after the most prominently announced completion date, which was this month. This past April, developer Forest City Enterprises stated it anticipated that the building would open in December 2015.

The two-year estimate sounds like a cautious one, since the building is about one-third finished, and the whole thing was supposed to take two years. Then again, the factory can't operate until it's better staffed.

And that means that Dean Street will remain constricted for far longer than originally announced.

The falling out

From NY1:
Some 25 workers are back but developer Forest City Ratner plans to rehire all 150 employees who were cut.
NY1 visited the factory last year when production was in full swing. It was a joint venture between Forest City and contractor Skanska. But the two companies had a falling out, blamed each other for the slow pace and took legal action. While that lawsuit is in the courts, Forest City bought out Skanska, gaining full control of the operation.
The partnership FCS Modular is now FC Modular.

Using the same technology?
"This is the best way to rebuild the building is to use the same technology that we started it with and bring the people back to work and get our building finished,” said Executive VP of Forest City Ratner Bob Sanna.
No mention that former partner Skanska said the design/technology is flawed?

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