Ratner discusses progress at Atlantic Yards: VIDEO

February 25, 2013 02:00PM

The foundation of the first residential tower at Atlantic Yards is being laid down and in May, the 32-story building will rise above the ground, Bruce Ratner, CEO of Forest City Ratner, which is developing the massive Brooklyn project, told Bloomberg News. The property is slated for completion about a year from this June, he said.

The building, dubbed B2, broke ground in December and is slated to be the world’s tallest modular tower.

“We wanted to come up with a method that assured the same kind of pricing and also was less expensive to build, but still as good or higher quality,” Ratner told Bloomberg of the modular construction method.

However, the use of modular construction has meant fewer and lower-paying construction jobs. Indeed, the bulk of the nearly 2,000 jobs created by the center are part-time and without benefits, as previously reported. Only 100 are full time, but most center employees belong to the SEIU 32BJ union.

“The job situation is incredible that we’ve done,” Ratner told Bloomberg. He said he expects more jobs as the housing gets built.

“As we continue to build and as we add our buildings on, there will be more and more jobs,” he said.

B2 will include 181 units of low-, moderate- and middle-income housing, while the other 182 units will go for market rate. The two other towers in the vicinity will begin construction this summer, previous reports have said.

Ratner said he is seeing “huge demand” for residential rentals. “Brooklyn is definitely the place to be today,” he said.

The Barclays Center, home to the Brooklyn Nets NBA team, opened in late 2012 and will one day also be the home of the New York Islanders NHL team. [Bloomberg News]Zachary Kussin