Thursday, January 15, 2015

Burch leaves Forest City and B2 for new position at Lend Lease; Yu takes over Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park

Melissa Burch, as Executive VP of Commercial and Residential Development, was overseeing Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park for Forest City Ratner, but now she's gone.

Crain's New York Business reported yesterday, Top Forest City exec jumps to construction giant: Melissa Burch will head Australia-based Lend Lease's efforts to invest in and develop real estate projects in New York City and across the country.:
Susi Yu
Melissa Burch, a top executive at Forest City Ratner, is departing the firm to join construction company Lend Lease. She will head its efforts to begin investing in and developing real estate projects in New York City and nationally.
"Melissa’s extensive knowledge of entitlement, design, construction, marketing, leasing and the execution of complex urban-development projects makes her the ideal executive to grow our development business in New York," said Denis Hickey, Lend Lease’s chief executive in the U.S., in a statement.
Meanwhile, Forest City announced Wednesday that Susi Yu will take over Ms. Burch’s role as executive vice president for residential development. Ms. Yu, a 12-year Forest City veteran, played a major role in projects including the Frank Gehry-designed, downtown residential tower 8 Spruce. Recently she had moved to the Howard Hughes Corp., where she was a senior vice president.
Not related to B2 problems

The Daily News reported:
Her departure comes amid a string of delays and cost overruns at B2 BKLYN, the Atlantic Yards residential tower slated to be the tallest modular building in the world. Burch and a spokeswoman for Forest City said her departure was not related to recent problems at the building.
"I still believe in modular and I’ll still be rooting for B2 BKYLN," Burch told the Daily News. "I’m proud to have been part of a company that’s looking at doing things differently."

That said, the role of the Greenland Group, the dominant force in Greenland Forest City Partners, also changes the job at Forest City.
The Daily News reported that Yu, trained as an architect and with a Master of Science in Real Esteate Development, will oversee the Forest City's remaining development pipeline, including 80 DeKalb and three potential residential towers at East River Plaza in East Harlem.

According to the Lend Lease press release:
Prior to joining Lend Lease, Ms. Burch served as Executive Vice President for Forest City Ratner Companies where she had overall responsibility for commercial and residential development. In this role, she oversaw the development of the Atlantic Yards project, a public/private partnership development extending 22 acres and comprised of the Barclays Center and 8M SF of new rental and condominium housing, office, retail space, and eight acres of public open space. In addition, Melissa spearheaded various projects throughout the New York City region and supervised the on-going leasing of Forest City Ratner's office and residential operating portfolios

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