James Stuckey, the public face of the humongous Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn, resigned today, according to his employer, Forest City Ratner.
In a statement, the development company said that Mr. Stuckey “has submitted his resignation, effective immediately, citing personal reasons and a desire to pursue new challenges.”The company said that preparations for his departure had been underway for “the past few weeks” and that MaryAnne Gilmartin, executive vice president and director of commercial and residential development (she was in charge of the new New York Times tower), would become head of the Atlantic Yards project, for which preparatory work has begun.
Much more than the company’s chief executive, Bruce Ratner, it was Mr. Stuckey, a tall silver-haired fellow with a goatee, who defended the 22-acre project at public hearings, press conferences and the like.
A Crain’s New York Business profile of him last May, published right after he was promoted to become head of an Atlantic Yards subsidiary, said that Mr. Stuckey did not fit the “mold of ruthless real estate developer” and was studying for a master’s in theology on the side and played cello as a youngster. He ran the Public Development Corporation under Mayor Ed Koch, the precursor to the Economic Development Corporation, right when Forest City was building the MetroTech center in downtown Brooklyn. After a stint at a real estate consulting company, Mr. Stuckey went to work for Forest City doing exactly the type of public-private partnerships that he once oversaw.
His picture and bio are already off the company’s Web site.