Wednesday, September 24, 2014

B2 May Turn Out to the World's Largest Uncompleted Modular Project

That partially completed building at the corner of Dean St. and Flatbush Ave. may turn out to be a mausoleum of Bruce Ratner’s grandest dream.

On Tuesday, Swedish giant Skanska bailed out of its contract with the visionary real estate titan to construct the world’s tallest pre-fabricated tower — ensuring that the building will remain in limbo for the foreseeable future, if it gets built at all.

B2 Stalled and Sitting at 10 Stories

At present, the building — which Ratner boasted would “crack the code” for affordable construction in the city — stands at just 10 of its proposed 32 stories.

The termination of the contract is the latest in a flurry of legal jabs in the bout between Skanska and Ratner’s development firm over delays and cost overruns at the Atlantic Yards building.

A Skanska spokeswoman said Forest City Ratner Companies had refused to address a number of issues, including an allegedly flawed design for the tower.

“We could not continue to incur millions of dollars in extra costs with little hope that Forest City would take responsibility for fixing the significant commercial and design issues on the project,” Skanska USA COO Richard Kennedy said in a statement.

Earlier this summer, Skanska halted work at the site, idling more than 150 union workers. Skanska and Forest City Ratner then traded lawsuits, blaming each other for the snafus at the project.

The Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, which represents the union contractors, declined to comment.

Skanska is just trying to gain financial leverage and get a better deal from the company by halting construction at the site, Ratner’s officials contend.

“These are deplorable and disappointing tactics that show remarkable indifference to the wellbeing of these workers and the project,” said MaryAnne Gilmartin, president and CEO of Forest City Ratner. “We will continue to rigorously pursue our options through the courts to get (the B2 tower) built.”

But what will happen to the unfinished building is unclear.

Ratner cannot go ahead with construction using another contractor, since Skanska still owns a stake in project, including the plant where the pre-fabricated modules are built. Skanska has rejected Ratner’s bid to take over the project.

The property was slated to be the first residential building at Ratner’s Atlantic Yards development, which once called for 16 skyscrapers around the Barclays Center, comprising 6,000 units of housing.

The project is now known as Pacific Park.


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