NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 20, 2001--
New Building Will Provide Corporate HQ for Empire Blue Cross and Blue
Shield, Complete Brooklyn's MetroTech Complex
Citing the urgent need to develop new office space in New York
City following the destruction of the World Trade Center, Bruce C.
Ratner, President and Chief Executive Officer of Forest City Ratner
Companies, today joined State and City officials in breaking ground
for construction of 9 MetroTech Center South in Downtown Brooklyn.
Approximately 1,300 employees of Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield
who were displaced by the September 11th attack on the World Trade
Center will relocate to eight floors of 9 MetroTech Center South. The
company's corporate operations, including marketing and information
technology, will be located in these offices. The largest health
insurer in New York State, Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield has
leased 322,220 square feet of space in the new office building.
The last building to go up as part of the 16-acre MetroTech Center
complex, 9 MetroTech Center South will have 19 stories of office space
topped by two additional stories of mechanical space. It will rise 325
feet from street level to the top of the building's parapet. The
building, which will open in the Spring of 2003, will provide some
670,000 square feet of commercial space.
"Forest City is fast-tracking construction of 9 MetroTech Center
South in order to help fill the void in premium office space in New
York City created by the tragedy of September 11th," said Mr. Ratner.
"We look forward to welcoming Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield to
MetroTech Center and providing this great company with the
state-of-the-art facilities it needs.
"Beginning construction of 9 MetroTech Center South also opens the
final chapter in the 14-year-long development of MetroTech Center,"
Mr. Ratner continued. "Forest City is proud of the pivotal role that
MetroTech has played in bringing scores of new businesses and
thousands of new jobs to Downtown Brooklyn."
"Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield is firmly committed to staying
in New York City, and we are confident that 9 MetroTech Center South
will provide a superb new setting for our corporate headquarters,"
said Dr. Michael A. Stocker, CEO of Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
9 MetroTech Center will stand at the northwest corner of the
intersection of Flatbush Avenue Extension and Myrtle Avenue. It will
adjoin the headquarters of the New York City Fire Department located
at 9 MetroTech Center North.
On Monday, November 19th, the City Planning Commission approved
FCRC's request for a minor modification to original plans for a
13-story, 532,000-square-foot building at the site in order to
increase the building's size to 19 stories and 670,000 square feet of
rentable space. Brooklyn Community Board 2 voted to approve that
modification at a November 14th meeting.
A typical floorplate for 9 MetroTech Center South will have 37,000
square feet of rentable space. FCRC is in discussion with other
prospective tenants concerning leasing the remaining 347,780 square
feet of space in the building, which was designed by the architectural
firm of Cesar Pelli & Associates in cooperation with the firm of
Swanke Hayden Connell.
FCRC is one of the most active developers of commercial property
in New York City. Over the last 14 years, FCRC has completed projects
in all five boroughs comprising some seven million square feet of
office, retail, hotel and entertainment space, valued at some $1.7
billion. In addition to the $1 billion, 6.4-million-square-foot
MetroTech Center, major FCRC projects include:
Atlantic Center, a 400,000-square-foot retail center in
One Pierrepont Plaza, a 19-story office building which opened
in 1988 and was the first new office building in Downtown
Brooklyn in 25 years;
The New York Mercantile Exchange headquarters near the World
Financial Center in Battery Park City;
A Hilton Hotel and a shopping and entertainment center on West
42nd Street in Manhattan; and
Neighborhood retail developments in Elmhurst and Woodside,
Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island.
FCRC also is the developer of the new headquarters building of The
New York Times, which will be built on a site at Eighth Avenue between
40th and 41st Streets in Manhattan.
FCRC is an affiliate of Forest City Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: FCEA
and FCEB), a $4 billion NYSE-listed real estate company headquartered
in Cleveland, Ohio. Forest City Enterprises is principally engaged in
the ownership, development, acquisition and management of commercial
and residential real estate throughout the United States. Its
portfolio includes interests in retail centers, apartment communities,
office buildings and hotels, and its primary markets include Boston,
Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Richmond (Virginia), San
Francisco and Washington, D.C.
Geto & de Milly, Inc.
Michele de Milly or Joyce Baumgarten, 212/686-4551