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Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what's coming + FAQ (pinned post)

Pacific Park by 2028? Former Forest City executive says project will "take probably about a decade" (I'd bet longer)

"It's going to take probably about a decade to build Pacific Park," said former Forest City New York executive Susi Yu at a panel yesterday at the 92nd Street Y, "but once it's done, it's going to be a real asset to the neighborhood." (She's recently moved to former Forest City CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin's new firm, L&L MAG, which has a service contract with Forest City regarding Pacific Park.)

That's a rare flash of candor, departing from the developer's general party line, which is that they will meet the 2025 affordable deadline but won't comment otherwise.

The developers, in a June 2015 prospectus to 550 Vanderbilt condo buyers, excerpted at right, pointed to a 2025 completion date but noted that the timetable "may be subject to circumstances beyond Sponsor's control." Exactly.

Is 2028 likely?

So, will the full project be done by 2028? It's not impossible--and we haven't seen Greenland USA's building plan, now that it will own 95% of the project going forward--but I wouldn't bet on it, especially since there are no scheduled building starts yet.

CFO Bob O'Brien of parent Forest City Realty Trust,  after Forest City announced a stall in new project construction, said in an 11/4/16 conference call with investment analysts that the firm's financial model "extends to 2035, 20 years from now."

As I wrote, that doesn't necessarily mean project completion by 2035; it could represent stabilization of income, but presumably that's two-to-five years after the final building is constructed. If Greenland has a new financial model, and they should, let's see a target year.

History of over-optimism

Remember, real estate executives can be notoriously over-optimistic or just unreliable. As I wrote in November 2016. Gilmartin give Bloomberg a quote that now resonates rather oddly: “While the overall schedule is fixed, and we will meet it, there is flexibility in terms of individual buildings, especially given the amount of work underway,” she said.

Actually, the overall schedule was not fixed.

Would you believe that in July 2005, then Forest City executive Jim Stuckey gave the New York Times some ridiculous predictions:
The arena is planned to open for the 2008-9 basketball season, said James P. Stuckey, an executive vice president at Forest City Ratner Companies, with the entire project completed as soon as 2011.
After all, the arena wasn't finished until 2012. Even if the arena had gotten started early, the whole project was supposed to take ten years, according to the developer's December 2003 project announcement. Stuckey was shaving two years--actually four, since construction hadn't started in 2003--off an already dubious best-case scenario.

It's a "never-say-never project."

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