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In Crain's "Most Powerful Women," Gilmartin goes to 11 from 17 (really?)

Lists of "most powerful" are always more art than science, but I have to wonder why Crain's New York Business ranked Forest City New York  President and CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin number 11, a decent uptick from the previous ranking, 17, in 2015.

In an Editor's note, The girls are all right, Jeanhee Kim of Crain's writes, "Within all these stories is the idea that time has a dramatic impact on power. Women move up and down and on and off our list every two years."

Sure. But Gilmartin, though advancing institutionally with prominent positions outside her job, hasn't had that great a two years at Forest City. Here's what they write about her:
2016 NET OPERATING INCOME $230 million
NYC IMPACT Member, Executive Committee and Board of Governors, Real Estate Board of N.Y.; co-chair, Brooklyn Downtown Partnership; board member, BAM and N.Y. Public Radio
When the next book on Brooklyn’s rebirth is written, it will certainly have a chapter on MaryAnne Gilmartin.
As head of Forest City, Gilmartin has spearheaded the development of Pacific Park, a 22-acre mixed-used development that is finally taking shape after years of controversy and delays. Within the past nine months, two apartment buildings have opened at the complex: One is 100% affordable, and the other is the world’s tallest modular residence. Last year Forest City announced a partnership with JEMB Realty to build an office tower in Downtown Brooklyn, the company’s ninth in the borough.
Beyond Brooklyn, Forest City is slated to open a building at Cornell Tech’s Roosevelt Island campus in September. But her biggest challenge may be yet to come: heading the City Council committee charged with reimagining Rikers Island.
I'm not sure net operating income is the proper metric for the performance of Forest City, given delays and "impairments" regarding Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park. The opening of three--not two--buildings is a milestone, but a delayed one.

Yes, the Cornell Tech project represents progress, and the JEMB project suggests potential. But there are so many questions marks around Forest City's main New York project.

The joint venture Greenland Forest City Partners hasn't gotten several buildings off the ground, despite plans and, in poor timing for the award, Forest City laid off about 15 people on Thursday.

So Crain's is a bit myopic, I believe. Gilmartin deserves a place in the top 50, but Forest City's results in the past two years should be a drag on her rating, with the uptick supplied by her roles in REBNY, the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, and the Rikers revamp.

About Rikers

I didn't think Gilmartin headed, as Crain's writes, "the City Council committee charged with reimagining Rikers Island." Because it doesn't exist.

The City Council appointed an Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform, which, according to this press release, is chaired by former New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman. 

As noted in the press release, Gilmartin chairs the commission's Reimagining the Island subcommittee. It's a small but important set of distinctions. There's no City Council committee--that would include Council members, not outsiders. There's a separate commission, and she steers a subset.

Her role on the Commission is a sign of power, true. And if she does help reimagine a worthy future for that vexed piece of property, she'll deserve praise.

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