Forest City Realty Trust this week sold the bulk of its stake in the Pacific Park development to its Chinese partners as the companyʼs longtime executive MaryAnne Gilmartin left to launch a new venture.
The restructuring takes Greenland USA’s ownership interest to 95 percent and Forest City’s interest from 30 percent to five percent.
Greenland said it will immediately start work on the next building in the Brooklyn development and break ground in 2019.
“We saw in Pacific Park Brooklyn the opportunity to implement our vision of creating a better, more accessible lifestyle and drive continued innovation in the United States. Now, through the jobs and the community benefit we have created, and the great relationships we’ve established with the city and state, we are delivering on that vision,” said Zhang Yuliang, president and chairman of Greenland Group.
“We are excited to continue working with Forest City and are proud of the tremendous progress we’ve made together in bringing affordable housing and residential space to the market quickly.”
David J. LaRue, president and CEO of Forest City Realty Trust called the deal a “win win” for both companies, noting FCR continues to divest development activity, while focusing on “current responsibilities.”
He added, “The restructuring will keep the remaining entitled development on track, with the joint venture solidly committed to the vision for Pacific Park and the public benefits it has and will continue to deliver, including significant affordable housing. ”
Greenland is facing a state-city deadline to complete 2,250 affordable housing units at Pacific park by in 2025. Currently, there are 750, according to Howard Zemsky, president and CEO, Empire State Development Corporation.
On the heels of the restructuring announcement, MaryAnne Gilmartin announcement was stepping down as CEO at Forest City to start a new firm with New York development veterans David Levinson and Robert Lapidus, of L&L Holding Company.
Gilmartin, who spent 23 years at Forest City Ratner spearheading high-profile projects like the New York Times Building, Pacific Park and Barclays Center, will serve as chief executive of the new venture called L&L MAG.
She will manage the day-to-day operations while Levinson and Lapidus will share ownership with Gilmartin, and assist in sourcing, financing, and implementing development opportunities.
“I have devoted my career to developing great buildings and great people, and this new venture will allow me to focus my passion and energy on building a better city and a better industry,” said Gilmartin in a press release.
“Working alongside two of the most exceptional real estate minds in the business and my talented team, I am confident that the best projects of my career are still ahead. I am supremely grateful for the mentorship and partnership of Bruce Ratner and the professionals at Forest City that I worked with to build great places throughout New York.”
The new company also drew four others from Forest City Realty Trust’s New York development team. Susi Yu, Jeff Rosen, Adam Greene, and Ashley Cotton all joined L&L MAG as senior managers.
L&L Holding’s current portfolio of commercial properties and development projects will continue to be owned and operated via their existing ownership structures and management teams.