The developers of Brooklyn’s $4 billion-plus Atlantic Yards project, Forest City Ratner, tried to assuage fears about the stalled development in a conference call with investors today, saying they are committed to the success of the project in the long term. The call was held by Forest City Enterprises, the parent company of Forest City Ratner.
“Today’s economic environment is challenging,” Forest City Ratner president Joanne Minieri said. “Projects of this size and significance are always subject to changing market demands and economic influences.”
Publicly traded real estate firms’ conference calls are normally cheery affairs, with executives giving a bright outlook, matched with the footnote that their stock is quite undervalued. But the remarks of Ms. Minieri and others were laced with relatively sobering talk about the short-term outlook, and a statement that tough times call for backing off on projects until the climate is better.
Forest City Enterprises CEO Charles Ratner echoed Ms. Minieri’s comments: “The economy sometimes alters the timeline, but we have demonstrated our ability to see these projects through to completion—the value they create is well worth the time and effort. … Real estate is a long-term business. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
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