Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Confidence restored? Sunny Daily News article claims modular B2 tower is back on track

Maybe the Daily News's Katherine Clarke is making up for a rather skeptical take last September on Forest City Ratner's stalled modular tower, because today's article, Forest City Ratner’s modular Brooklyn tower is back on track: The developer expects the project factory at the Brooklyn Navy Yard to be operating as normal this month, is completely credulous.

The article states:
Developer Bruce Ratner has finally resumed work on his 32-story residential building next to the Barclays Center after a five-month hiatus stemming from a dispute with construction giant Skanska over the pre-fabricated design.
As a result of that legal fight, Ratner gained control of Skanska’s factory in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where modules for the proposed tallest modular tower were made.
Now Ratner’s company, Forest City Ratner, said it expects the factory will be operating at full capacity by the end of the month. It’s still unclear when the 363-unit tower will be done.
So "resumed work" means hiring some people and getting some work done. That doesn't necessarily mean it's back on track, especially since a notice last Friday indicated several major positions remain open.

The article states:
The company says about 50 people are already back at work, and 150 more union workers, who were furloughed by the closure of the factory last summer, have been asked to return to work. The developer is also hiring internally for construction management positions.
Staying positive

The article states:
But with the factory coming back online, confidence has been restored.
"We are committed to completing the world’s tallest modular building by using the same technology that we started it with,” Bob Sanna, executive vice president of Forest City, told the Daily News. “More workers are returning to work as the factory gets back into full swing.”
I'm not sure who says confidence is restored or whose confidence is being restored. In November, Forest City's Ashley Cotton was asked about seemingly misaligned modules.

"Any alignment issues that may exist… is an easy fix," she said. "I know what you mean, that’s why I don’t want to say you’re imagining it, but I have been assured again and again that we know exactly what's going on there, and that will be fixed."

Skanska, by contrast, has warned that "No one knows if the building is going to leak."

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