"The original transaction had the modular company doing the construction work for B2," Meller said. "The original concept was that the modular company would take an assignment of the design, accept the design responsibilities, and then construct the work. That price was too high for Forest City."
Instead, Forest City hired Skanska to construct the tower, assembling the superstructure, placing the modules, and connecting the building systems, among other things.
Skanska blames Forest City for faulty design of the modular plan; Forest City blames Skanska's execution.
Meller brought up the issue because he was talking about changes in the various contracts regarding the project.
The road not taken
It suggests a road not taken: the Forest City/Skanska partnership, known as FCS Modular (and now FC Modular, after Forest City bought out Skanska's share, after a work stoppage and legal volleys) was going to establish a major new business.
Instead, the company was subcontracted to build module. Now Skanska is gone, and
FC Modular is now in danger of closing, without any new contracts pending, though it may reboot to produce modules for different kinds of buildings.
Greenland Holdings, the joint venture partner/overseer on Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, is less willing--and perhaps unwilling--to consider modular for the project.
Had a company been established to build the units and the tower--and the process worked smoothly (which it hasn't)--it could have been a formidable entity.
Then again, given the inherent tensions the even smaller Forest City/Skanska joint venture experienced, maybe that would not have been a wise idea.