Closing Bell: Forest City Ratner, Skanska Trade Lawsuits


    The mudslinging has begun over construction delays at Atlantic Yards, with Skanska and Forest City Ratner trading lawsuits today over issues at the first tower, B2. Forest City accuses Skanska of massive delays and cost overruns amounting to tens of millions of dollars, according to a complaint filed today in Manhattan Supreme Court. Last week, Skanska shut down its modular apartment factory at the Navy Yard and halted construction on Dean Street. Work began on the 32-story, 363-unit modular B2 tower in December 2012, and it’s risen to about 10 stories so far.

    Forest City wants a judge to order Skanska to restart construction and re-open the factory. The work suspension has left 150 union employees out of work and — here’s a juicy detail revealed in the lawsuit — the project’s construction lender has temporarily stopped giving funds for a loan until it receives a new anticipated completion date, the Daily News reported.

    “Our priority is to reopen our factory and put the employees that Skanska wrongfully furloughed back to work so we can resume construction on B2,” Forest City CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin said in a statement. “Skanska’s unilateral action has barred construction from continuing, and this lawsuit is the first of many steps we intend to take to get this building moving again.”

    Meanwhile, in its lawsuit, Skanska claims the modular design is flawed and Forest City refuses to acknowledge the problems. The company wants $50,000,000 in damages for “changes that were allegedly made to the construction plans by the developer without consultation,” according to the Daily News. 

    “The work at the project is currently stopped because Forest City Ratner has steadfastly refused over many months to engage in an honest dialogue about the serious commercial and design issues facing the project,” Richard Kennedy, cochief operating office for Skanska, told NYDN in a statement. “Rather than acknowledging their problems, they are slinging mud at Skanska.”

    The Atlantic Yards project, which was recently renamed Pacific Park, will eventually house 6,430 apartments, 247,000 square feet of retail, and 336,000 square feet of commercial space.

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