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Forest City's diminishing presence in Cleveland, its home city

From Crain's Cleveland Business yesterday, Real estate's top 10 stories in 2017, "2. Forest City sells key properties, then announces it might sell itself."

In its home city, Forest City Realty Trust is no longer a property owner, or a new developer. It sold Post Office Plaza and also a 20-acre development site. And it's focusing on larger cities.

"The five-year drive to transform the company for today's stock market and gain share prices in line with the underlying value of the company's portfolio drew attention from activist investors," writes Stan Bullard, rather gently describing the forceful, even vicious criticism lodged against the company and, especially its New York arm, even after the extended family ownership has been diminished by adopting a one-class system of shares.

"The biggest move came last, however, as the board announced in September it had hired New York investment bankers and law firms to help it review strategic alternatives from selling itself to making significant acquisitions," writes Bullard. That could mean very different outcomes, including selling off projects (hello, Pacific Park Brooklyn?) or merging with a firm like Equity Residential.

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