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As Brookfield deal closes, Forest City executives in Cleveland get fired; assets to become Brookfield Properties

The absolute end of Forest City Realty Trust, and thus Forest City New York, is nigh, as the Plan Dealer reported yesterday action from the new owners: Brookfield cuts jobs, including top executives, at Forest City as acquisition looms.

About 75 executives in FCRT's headquarters have been let go, with another 35 on short-term extensions, which will cut management from 350 people to 240 by next summer. The transaction, approved by Forest City shareholders 11/15/18, is expected to be complete today, the newspaper reported.

While workers at various Forest City properties will be retained, it's unclear what will happen to executives at Forest City's major subsidiaries, in places like New York and Washington, DC.

It is clear that the name will gone. The firm will be called Brookfield Properties. That raises a question about the joint venture to build Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, owned only 5% by Forest City going forward, currently called  Greenland Forest City Partners. Will it now become Greenland Brookfield Partners?

Among the executives being fired are CEO David LaRue, the key board vote for preliminary approval of the sale (and a recipient of a $12.68 million golden parachute, which former Chairman Al Ratner called an "apparent quid pro quo"), CFO Bob O'Brien, and COO Duane Bishop.

Other executives let go were  Mike Lonsway, James Finnerty, Christopher Clayton, Stephanie Dorsey, and Jeff Linton. In sum, they represent eight of the 16 executives currently listed among "Company Leadership" on the Forest City web site, also excerpted below.

Not listed for layoff are Bob Sanna, New York Executive VP and Head of Construction, and Bruce Ratner, New York Executive Chairman, though the latter is semi-retired. (Earlier this year, the Real Deal called him "retired.")

Meanwhile, with the Forest City acquisition, Brookfield will be the largest single commercial property owner in New York City, executive Ric Clark said this week, as major properties such as MetroTech and the New York Times Building are added to its portfolio.