Forest City Reaches Deal to Sell Stake in Atlantic Yards

Forest City Enterprises Inc. reached a definitive agreement to sell a 70 percent stake in Atlantic Yards, its 22-acre development in Brooklyn, New York, to Greenland Holding Group Co.

Greenland, based in Shanghai, and Cleveland-based Forest City will co-develop the $5 billion project, including infrastructure and 14 apartment buildings, the companies said in a joint statement today. They had signed a memorandum of understanding for the venture in October.

“To do this in Brooklyn, New York, is a dream for all of us at Greenland,” said Chairman and President Zhang Yuliang. “Brooklyn has fast become an international brand.”

The agreement excludes the Barclays Center, the year-old arena that anchors the site, and one residential tower already under construction. Completion of the deal, expected in 2014, is subject to regulatory approvals from the Chinese government and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, the companies said. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

The Atlantic Yards project, approved in 2006, has been delayed in part by the recession that froze credit markets, and lawsuits filed by opponents objecting to the seizure of private land for the project.

The delays have increased Forest City’s cost per square foot for the project, Chief Executive Officer David J. LaRue said in a September conference call. He said at the time that the company was seeking a partner.

Faster Completion

Forest City Ratner Cos., a New York-based unit of Forest City Enterprises, is managing the development. Chairman Bruce Ratner said Greenland’s investment helps speed up completion of the project, which would include 6,430 housing units.

“With this definitive agreement in place, we are a major step closer to delivering more expeditiously the affordable housing and other benefits of Atlantic Yards to Brooklyn,” Ratner said in the statement.

Atlantic Yards is Greenland’s second project in the U.S. In July, the firm purchased a site in downtown Los Angeles with plans to build a hotel and residential units.

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