Skanska, Forest City Ratner Sue Each Other Over World's Future Tallest Modular Building
The developer and the construction manager for the world's future tallest modular tower—under construction at the $4.9-billion Brooklyn, N.Y., development formerly known as Atlantic Yards—have sued each other over delays and cost overruns on the 32-story project, called B2 BKLYN.
The suits, filed on Sept. 2 just minutes apart in New York State Supreme Court, follow an Aug. 27 stop-work notice at the jobsite.
The planned 322-ft-tall tower, now at 10 stories, is the first residential building to come out of the ground at the 22-acre complex, which includes the completed Barclays Center arena.
B2 BKLYN and the arena are owned by Forest City Ratner Cos. (FCRC). The future projects in the complex, recently renamed Pacific Park Brooklyn, are under development by Greenland Forest City Partners, which consists of Greenland Group and FCRC.
Skanska USA Building Inc. filed suit against FCRC affiliate Atlantic Yards B2 Owner LLC at 11:36 a.m., seeking damages related to continual unwillingness to address the issues with B2.
"The work 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," says Richard A. Kennedy, co-chief operating officer of Skanska USA Building. "Forest City Ratner represented with great confidence they had developed the high-rise modular solution. That turned out not to be true," he adds. "Now, rather than acknowledging their problems, they are slinging mud."
"We remain hopeful commercial and economic sensibilities will prevail and these matters will be resolved so we can get back to building the B2 project," says Kennedy.
Jeremy Soffin, a spokesman for FCRC, responds that "Skanska's filing today is not unexpected and is in keeping with its unfounded attempts to blame the owner for Skanska's mismanagement of its obligations and responsibilities associated with the B2 project."
FCRC filed suit 16 minutes after Skanska, seeking damages and declaratory relief, citing the contractor's "multiple failures and missteps," which led to "massive delays and cost overruns." The complaint requests that the court void Skanska's stop-work notice.
FCRC and Skanska have a complicated relationship. In 2012, Skanska signed its $117-million, fixed-price construction management contract with Atlantic Yards B2 Owner LLC. The same year, FCRC Modular LLC and Skanska Modular LLC formed FC + Skanska Modular LLC (FC+S Modular), also in Brooklyn, to assemble the 930 modules of B2 and perhaps produce other modular buildings.