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Last June, Forest City claimed 140 units at 550 Vanderbilt in contract. Now they claim only 167 sold.

In a 6/29/16 article, Forest City Ratner told the Real Deal that 140 condos at 550 Vanderbilt, the first fully market-rate building at Pacific Park, were in contract for blended average of $1,500 per square foot.

I noted that, nine months earlier, it was said to be more than 30% sold, with more than 80 residences in contract. That suggested a pace of 60 units over nine months, or less than seven per month.

If they're still using the same metrics--"in contract" means "sold"--well, they're not doing so well. (Note that "in contract" does not mean "closed.)

This afternoon, during a conference call with investment analysis, Forest City CFO Bob O'Brien said that 167 apartments had been sold by the end of January 2017, saying pacing was "modestly slower" than anticipated.

"Modestly slower"? That's just 27 more units over seven months. That's a pace of less than four per month and a sell-through rate of 60.3% in the 278-unit building (not counting the one apartment designated for staff).

If that pace continues, well, the remaining 110 units will take more than 28 months to sell.

Of course, they may now be using more conservative metrics than they were using last June. Still, in comparison with the statement last June about the blended average figure, O'Brien did not cite a figure but said merely that "pricing is within pro forma ranges."

His answer, by the way, came in response to a question about 550 Vanderbilt, which was first answered by CEO David LaRue with a meandering answer about the company's other residential properties in New York. It sounded like they either were deflecting the question and/or scrambling to find the data.

Also: no one on the conference call asked about Site 5. Nor was it mentioned.

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