Atlantic Yards developer Bruce Ratner announced on Tuesday that he had sold nearly half of his stake in 15 shopping centers throughout the tri-state area — including the Atlantic Terminal Mall — in yet another sign that his company needs cash.
Madison International, a real estate private equity firm, will pay the developer’s company, Forest City Ratner, $172 million for properties that include both Atlantic Center and Atlantic Terminal. Madison will also take on $499.9 million of debt.
Ratner will retain the majority share and continue to manage the properties, including the Atlantic Terminal Mall.
Ratner’s plans for 16-tower mini-city and basketball arena at Atlantic and Flatbush avenues was on the brink of financial ruin in 2008 when the economy tanked. Since then, the original architect of the project, Frank Gehry, has been fired, and the developer has said the project could be completed in 25 years, rather than the original 10 years.
In February a Ratner executive revealed that the company to design the first residential tower of the Atlantic Yards project, and earlier this month the company revealed it was considering building a residential tower in order to cut costs. The first residential tower was originally supposed to be built in late 2010 – just one in a series of construction delays that have characterized the project since it first began.
The company also has two other major development projects under way – a nearly complete 76-story apartment tower in Lower Manhattan and a mall in Yonkers.
Still, the company also released a report on Wednesday detailing record earnings (though earnings were down on a per-share basis) last year.
The company cited last year’s majority sale of the Nets to Mikhail Prokhorov as one of the reasons for the company’s increased earnings this year.