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Financial Times on Ratner: supporter says he had a rep for being "one of the good guys"

A Financial Times article yesterday (via CNBC) was headlined Bruce Ratner deal signals decline of New York real estate families, with the subheading "Big names giving way to groups backed by institutional investors looking for yield."

Well, the sale and absorption of Forest City Realty Trust into Brookfield Asset Management does suggest the latter, as does a big deal by the Kushner Companies with Brookfield, but:

  1. New York real estate families like the Dursts and the Walentases are still doing fine
  2. Bruce Ratner was hardly the driving force in a deal decided at FCRT headquarters in Cleveland
  3. Forest City Ratner Companies had already become Forest City New York, and 
  4. The parent company, in becoming a real estate investment trust (REIT) and responding to pressures to change the share structure and board, had already shown the decline of the founding real estate family (see my March article in The Bridge)

Commentary by supporters

The article does contain a few memorable quotes:
For being one of the most powerful real estate magnates in New York’s cut-throat market, Mr Ratner managed to preserve a reputation for being “one of the good guys”, said Diane Coffey, a managing director at boutique investment bank PJ Solomon, who has known him for four decades.
It's not clear what period of time, and what specific actions Coffey was referring to that made Ratner both "tough" and "one of the good guys," but the 1980s and 1990s years of Forest City Ratner seem a better bet. Of course, as my article and this blog suggest, not everyone has such a sunny view.

And then there's this:
Ms Coffey said the fights wore on Mr Ratner, who was known for getting into shouting matches. One particular fight with an opponent of Atlantic Yards ultimately led the real estate developer to reconsider his legacy, several of the people who knew him said.
I find it tough to believe that one Atlantic Yards opponent--the obvious candidate would be Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn spokesman Daniel Goldstein--led Ratner to reconsider his legacy, but would bet the entire project promoted such a rethink. (After all, the name got changed by the new majority owner.)