CLEVELAND, Ohio and BROOKLYN, New York – March 11, 2010 – Forest City Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: FCE.A and FCE.B) today celebrated the ceremonial groundbreaking for the Barclays Center arena at the Atlantic Yards mixed-use project in Brooklyn.
Bruce Ratner, chairman and chief executive officer of Forest City Ratner Companies, the company's New York-based subsidiary, and other Forest City executives, were joined by New York Governor David Paterson, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Barclays PLC President Robert E. Diamond, Jr., NETS investor and cultural icon Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter, and many other community leaders and supporters at the event.
The 18,000-seat world-class sports and entertainment arena is being developed by subsidiaries of Forest City, which plan to operate the arena in partnership with international investor Mikhail Prokhorov's Onexim Sports & Entertainment. The Barclays Center is expected to host more than 200 events annually, including professional and collegiate sports, concerts, family shows, and NETS basketball. While construction has been ongoing since last fall, today's ceremony marks the next phase of construction of the arena, which is expected to open in 2012.
“When we announced Atlantic Yards in December 2003, we anticipated that this project would create buzz and excitement for the borough and the City, as well as needed jobs and affordable housing,” said Ratner. “We did not at the time appreciate that Atlantic Yards would be such an important economic engine. The fact that we can start construction in this financial environment is testament to the lasting appeal of New York City. Atlantic Yards will for many years stand as a reminder that we can build and create jobs and homes and dreams even during the most difficult of economic times.”
Robert E. Diamond, Jr. the President of Barclays PLC, which holds the naming rights for the arena, said, “Barclays is proud to be part of the ongoing renaissance of Brooklyn. The Barclays Center will create new jobs, help bring professional sports back to Brooklyn, and provide a state-of- the-art arena that will host a range of events and serve as the future home of the NETS. Our goal is to have the Barclays Center become the cultural and sporting heart of this community.”
Governor Paterson said, “Today we begin the next phase of construction on the Barclays Center and celebrate a new phase for the community it will serve. The opportunities afforded through this state-of-the-art arena and the Atlantic Yards development mean new jobs, affordable housing, and ongoing economic growth. This is a boon for Brooklyn and for all New York and we welcome the progress to come.”
“The Barclays Center at Atlantic Yards is the first piece of what will be one of the largest private investments and job generators in Brooklyn's history,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The world-class arena will bring the Nets to Brooklyn, and the entire project will bring with it more than 25,000 construction and permanent jobs, thousands of units of affordable housing, and tremendous economic activity. Now more than ever, we need investments that create jobs and help build for New York City's future, and Atlantic Yards is as significant an example of that as there is.”
Borough President Marty Markowitz said, “What began for me as a dream of bringing a major league sports team back to Brooklyn for the first time since our beloved ‘Brooklyn Bums' skipped town when I was just a boy, has culminated with this groundbreaking on something even I couldn't have envisioned—an Atlantic Yards complex that will bring the innovative Barclays Center, affordable housing, union jobs, and permanent employment opportunities to our nation's fourth largest city. Brooklyn deserves nothing less.”
The Barclays Center, designed by the award-winning architectural firms Ellerbe Becket and SHoP Architects, will be one of the most intimate seating configurations ever designed into a modern multi-purpose arena, with unparalleled sightlines and first-class amenities. The first-class facility, to be located at Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues, will have 18,000 seats for basketball and up to 19,000 seats for concerts. The arena will have 104 luxury suites, including 15 Brownstone Suites (16 seats each), 68 Loft Suites (10 seats each), 11 Backstage Suites, six Studio Suites, and four Party Suites. The arena will also include 40 loge boxes, six clubs and restaurants, and the on-site practice facility at the Barclays Center.
In addition to Barclays, the naming rights partner, the Barclays Center currently has 10 major partners, including: ADT, Cushman & Wakefield, EmblemHealth, MetroPCS, MGM Grand at Foxwoods, Jones Soda, Haier America, Phillips-Van Heusen, Anheuser-Busch, and High Point Solutions. For more information on the Barclays Center visit http://www.barclayscenter.com/.
About Forest City
Forest City Enterprises, Inc. is an $11.9-billion NYSE-listed national real estate company. The Company is principally engaged in the ownership, development, management and acquisition of commercial and residential real estate and land throughout the United States. For more information, visit http://www.forestcity.net/.
Safe Harbor Language
Statements made in this news release that state Forest City Enterprises' or management's intentions, hopes, beliefs, expectations or predictions of the future are forward-looking statements. The Company's actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements due to various risks, uncertainties and other factors. Risks and factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the impact of current market conditions on our liquidity, ability to finance or refinance projects and repay our debt, the impact of the current economic environment on our ownership, development and management of our commercial real estate portfolio, general real estate investment and development risks, liquidity risks we could face if we do not close the transaction with Onexim Group to create a strategic partnership for our Brooklyn Atlantic Yards project, vacancies in our properties, further downturns in the housing market, competition, illiquidity of real estate investments, bankruptcy or defaults of tenants, anchor store consolidations or closings, international activities, the impact of terrorist acts, risks associated with an investment in a professional sports team, our substantial debt leverage and the ability to obtain and service debt, the impact of restrictions imposed by our credit facility and senior debt, exposure to hedging agreements, the level and volatility of interest rates, the continued availability of tax-exempt government financing, the impact of credit rating downgrades, effects of uninsured or underinsured losses, environmental liabilities, conflicts of interest, risks associated with developing and managing properties in partnership with others, the ability to maintain effective internal controls, compliance with governmental regulations, increased legislative and regulatory scrutiny of the financial services sector, volatility in the market price of our publicly traded securities, litigation risks, as well as other risks listed from time to time in the Company's SEC filings, including but not limited to, the Company's annual and quarterly reports.