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Forest City Ratner's Modular Division Facing Massive Layoffs

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Big layoffs may be coming to Forest City Ratner: More than 200 employees could lose their jobs if the real estate company does not find more projects for its modular homes division, The Real Deal reports.

According to the report, Forest City told New York's Department of Labor that it may have to fire those employees within the next 90 days if more work doesn't materialize in the modular division. (UPDATE: A Forest City Ratner spokesperson clarified that the division could see only some, or even none, of its workforce laid off, not necessarily the whole division.) Its current project is the 32-story B2 at 461 Dean Street in Brooklyn, part of the larger Pacific Park megaproject (formerly known as the Atlantic Yards project) being built around the Barclay's Center, for which Forest City has partnered with, Greenland USA, a Los-Angeles based real estate firm. Greenland has a 70 percent majority stake in Pacific Park, but that does not include the 461 Dean Street modular development, which is being carried out by Forest City independently.

"As required by state law, FC Modular issued a 'warn notice' to our factory employees," Susan Hayes, the president of the modular division at Forest City, said in a statement provided to Curbed. "We are proud of the workforce we have built at our modular factory in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and the tremendous progress we have made at 461 Dean Street since taking back the business. We are committed to modular construction and are actively pursuing future opportunities once factory work on 461 Dean Street is complete."

Apart from B2, there are no plans for another modular building at the Pacific Park site. That particular building has been under construction for two years and has been plagued with construction problems, particularly its tussle with its construction partner, Skanska, over the quality of work at 461 Dean Street. Work on B2, which has 363 units and is the tallest modular building in the world, is expected to be complete towards the end of 2016. If there's an upside to this, it's that Greenland Holding hasn't ruled out more modular buildings entirely; they simply want to see how things with B2 shake out before committing to more.
· Forest City warns of mass layoffs in modular division [TRD]
· Modular Brooklyn Tower Suffered 'Significant Water Damage' [Curbed]
· See the Current State of Brooklyn's Pacific Park Megaproject [Curbed]
· Pacific Park Archives [Curbed]