Forest City Ratner, the real estate company that’s engineered, developed and profited off Brooklyn’s growing (and ever-changing) appeal, doesn’t really see the borough as the beacon of commercial opportunity it used to be.
Speaking yesterday at Manhattan’s Honest Building Innovation Summit, Forest Ratner CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin announced her company’s plans to look towards Queens and the Bronx for future developments, citing a blasé real estate market and cultural climate-shift encroaching upon Brooklyn.
As per The Real Deal, Gilmartin said that “the future is probably Queens, to be honest,” adding that she’d also lump the Bronx into Forest City Ratner’s schemes if she “had enormous amounts of cash to invest.”
Gilmartin then offered her own diagnoses for why exactly Forest City is venturing to different boroughs for a new promise land, spewing an utterly un-sentient assessment of her company and what the hell she does for a living.
“It’s what people call Tribeca Triburbia. You don’t want Brooklyn to become so diluted and watered-down that it loses its edge,” she said.
Gilmartin was also quick to point out all of Brooklyn’s recent “prosperity,” and “growth,” but warned that this success might prove destructive of Brooklyn’s collective “ethos” (whatever that means).
Gilmartin’s terminology is something worth scrutinizing, because it effectively conceals (and ignores) exactly what developers like Forest City Ratner do: seize and develop profitable real estate that changes the economic landscape of various neighborhoods along with the lives of people who inhabit them. In other words, they help make gentirfication happen.
What Gilmartin really means is that her company, which was behind the Barclay’s Center and various residential palaces like DKLB BKLYN and the soon-to-be Pacific Brooklyn, has effectively pillaged Brooklyn of any marketable quality it once had.
Real estate in the Bronx is obviously much cheaper, although it might not yet offer the kind of bourgeoning community of artists and writers that Forest City likes to stamp on development brochures. So onwards to Queens it is. But let’s hope that Mayor de Blasio’s plans for future rent regulation don’t then ring out as hollow and ineffective rhetoric for the people of that borough.
Follow Sam Blum on Twitter @Blumnessmonster