Forest City will have just one seat on board of Greenland Forest City Partners (previously two of five)
Beyond the fuzzy timetable for the new Vanderbilt Yard, Forest City discloses that the agreement to sell all but 5% of its interest in the project going forward to Greenland USA means that "We will only have one representative on the Board and fewer decision rights."
Previously Forest City had two of five seats on the the board, and "Special Major Decisions" required its approval. In other words, Greenland is in the driver's seat.
Also notable, as highlighted below:
- 5/31/25 is the deadline for affordable housing before fines kick in
- as of 12/31/17, 782 affordable units have been completed
- that leaves 1468 of the required 2,250 to be built
- fines can be delayed if developer can argue subsidy unavailability
Our Pacific Park Brooklyn project is currently facing these and other development risks.
• On June 30, 2014, we entered into a joint venture with Greenland Atlantic Yards, LLC, a subsidiary of Shanghai-based Greenland Holding Group Company Limited (“Greenland”), to develop Pacific Park Brooklyn, a 22 acre mixed-use project in Brooklyn, New York. Under the joint venture, Greenland acquired 70% of the project and co-develops the project with us, along with sharing in the entire project costs going forward in proportion to ownership interests. The joint venture will execute on the remaining development rights, including the infrastructure and vertical construction of the apartment units, but excluded Barclays Center (sold in January 2016) and 461 Dean Street apartment community. Consistent with the approved master plan, the joint venture will develop the remaining portion of Phase I and all of Phase II of the project, including the permanent rail yard. The remaining portion of Phase I that will be developed by the joint venture is comprised of seven buildings totaling approximately 3.1 million square feet. Phase II consists of seven buildings totaling approximately 3.3 million square feet.
Under the joint venture with Greenland, the Pacific Park Brooklyn project is managed by a board composed of three representatives from Greenland and two representatives from the Company. While decisions require a majority vote, many decisions labeled “Special Major Decisions” require a vote by us for approval. There is the risk that many of the decisions made by the joint venture would not be in our best interests and further, that an inability to agree on certain of the Special Major Decisions would trigger buy-sell rights and obligations between us and Greenland. The exercise of the buy-sell rights could result in our having to fund the purchase of Greenland’s interest in the entire joint venture or in one or more individual parcels. It could also result in having our interests be purchased and the loss of ownership of the Pacific Park Brooklyn project or of one or more parcels thereof.
...The joint venture broke ground on the first affordable apartment community, 535 Carlton, in December, 2014. In mid-2015, the joint venture commenced construction on two more buildings, 38 Sixth Avenue, an affordable apartment building, and 550 Vanderbilt, a condominium building. From the formation of the joint venture in June 2014 through the quarter ended June 30, 2016, we reviewed the estimates and assumptions in the discounted cash flow model and updated them as necessary.
During the three months ended September 30, 2016, it became evident the occupancy and rental rate declines in the Brooklyn market were not temporary as a result of an increased supply of new rental product amplified by the sun-setting and the uncertainty around the 421 A real estate tax abatement program. The condominium market in New York has also softened, causing the projected sale schedule for 550 Vanderbilt to be adjusted accordingly. Separately, the construction costs across the New York market continue to trend upward, resulting in increases in the estimated trade costs for certain infrastructure as well as vertical construction. In addition, the expiration of and the continued uncertainty related to the availability of the 421 A real estate tax abatement program puts further stress on anticipated returns. As a result, during the three months ended September 30, 2016, as part of our formal strategic plan update, a decision was made to revise the overall project schedule for Pacific Park Brooklyn. Accordingly, we updated the discounted cash flow model to reflect the updated timing of the project schedule as well as the revenue, expense and cost assumptions. Based on the above, the estimated fair value of the investment no longer exceeded the carrying value. As a result, we recorded an other-than-temporary impairment of $299,300,000 during the year ended December 31, 2016. The remaining basis in the investment (net of estimated future funding obligations) is not material. See Note S – Impairment of Real Estate and Impairment of Unconsolidated Entities in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8 of this Form 10-K for additional information.
...There is also the potential for increased costs and further delays to the project as a result of (i) increasing construction costs, (ii) scarcity of labor and supplies, (iii) the unavailability of additional needed financing, (iv) our or our partners’ inability or failure to meet required equity contributions, (v) increasing rates for financing, (vi) our inability to meet certain agreed upon deadlines for the development of the project, (vii) other potential litigation seeking to enjoin or prevent the project or litigation for which there may not be insurance coverage and (viii) our or our partners’ inability to fulfill contractual obligations. In addition, as applicable contractual and other deadlines and decision points approach, we could have less time and flexibility to plan and implement our responses to these or other risks to the extent that any of them may actually arise. The occurrence of one or more of these factors could result in the fair value of our equity method investment to be less than the carrying value, which could result in a future impairment.
On January 15, 2018, we reached an agreement with our partner, Greenland USA, on the restructuring of the Pacific Park Brooklyn joint venture. The transaction, which is expected to close in mid-2018, will increase Greenland USA’s ownership interest in the joint venture from 70% to 95% on future vertical construction costs, effective January 15, 2018, and reduce our ownership interest and future obligations to fund future vertical construction costs from 30% to 5%. We will only have one representative on the Board and fewer decision rights. Completed or partially completed projects of the joint venture, including 38 Sixth Ave, 550 Vanderbilt, 535 Carlton and the related parking garages, will remain owned by Greenland USA and us on a 70%/30% basis, respectively, and the construction of the new permanent rail yard will continue to be a 70%/30% obligation. However, there can be no assurance that the transaction will be consummated as agreed upon and described above, or at all.
On June 27, 2014, the City of New York and State of New York entities revised certain project requirements of Pacific Park Brooklyn with the goal of accelerating the construction of affordable housing. Among the requirements, affordable units are required to constitute 35% of all units for which construction has commenced until 1,050 affordable units have been started, after which the percentage drops to 25%. Failure to meet this requirement will prevent the joint venture from seeking new building permits, as well as give the State the right to seek injunctive relief. Also, temporary certificates of occupancy (“TCOs”) for a total of 2,250 affordable housing units are required to be issued by May 31, 2025 or a $2,000 per unit per month penalty will be imposed for those affordable units which have not received TCOs by such date, until issued. As of December 31, 2017, 782 affordable units have been completed.