Developers change gears at Atlantic Yards after high-rise modular proves difficult

Forest City Ratner Companies now has a Chinese partner that will move forward on the next three residential buildings, using conventional construction, while B2 continues to rise.

April 23, 2014 |
B2 rendering, copyright SHoP

At 32 stories, the B2 residential tower at Atlantic Yards near Brooklyn has been widely lauded as a bellwether for modular construction. But since construction started about 18 months ago, only five of the floors have been built—and developer Forest City Ratner Companies now has a Chinese partner that will move forward on the next three residential buildings, using conventional construction.

According to a report in the New York Times, Forest City Ratner's development partner, Greenland Holding Group, will now have a majority stake in the 22-acre Atlantic Yards mixed-use project. The Shanghai-based firm will oversee the next three residential tower projects, while Forest City Ratner continues to move forward with B2. Completion of the 348,000-sf modular tower, comprising 930 modules and 363 apartments, had been moved to late 2015, more than a year later than planned. 

MaryAnne Gilmartin, Forest City Ratner's chief executive, says technical difficulties have been substantial, both at the nearby factory that's creating the modules and on the Atlantic Yards job site. “It’s been terribly frustrating," she told the New York Times. "But I don’t think this is a referendum on modular. The best way to prove that this works is to build B2.”

The Building Team for B2 includes Skanska, FC + Skanska Modular (a collaboration between Forest City Ratner and Skanska, which is building the components), SHoP, and Arup.

 

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