Skip to main content

Featured Post

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

McKissack CEO on working with Greenland: "It’s an awakening, how we do business here."

There's a rather curious passage in the Commercial Observer's 2/14/18 article, Why Construction Firm McKissack Added Natural Disaster Relief to Its Repertoire, which notes the work of major minority- and woman-owned McKissack & McKissack on the Vanderbilt Yard for the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park project for Forest City Ratner (now Forest City New York):
The biggest change has been working more closely with Greenland since Forest City reduced its ownership in the project to just 5 percent in January. Greenland has more foreign executives, which require more translation.
“They are being cautious because they are not from here and they are not used to our regulations,” [Cheryl] McKissack Daniel said. “They probably run their crews 24/7 [in China]. You can’t do that here. It’s an awakening, how we do business here. But we don’t have a problem with them.”
Well, I'm not sure that Greenland runs its crews 24/7 or how much McKissack Daniel was speaking rhetorically.

However, that line, "It’s an awakening, how we do business here," does echo that September 2016 quote from then-Forest City executive Susi Yu: "China definitely has a different way of working, so I think there’s definitely a little bit of an educational process in learning that in New York you can’t just do everything because you say so."

Now Greenland is essentially taking over the project in full going forward, with Forest City as a 5% partner and L&L MAG, the new firm from former Forest City New York CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin, on a services contract with Forest City to speak on behalf of the joint venture.

So, we might wonder: how fully has Greenland gone through that "awakening" and "educational process"?

Yu's statement hinted at a tendency toward pushing forward; McKissack Daniel's pointed toward restraint. Stay tuned.

Comments