Pink slips hit Forest City Realty Trust

Move comes as REIT sells off retail properties
June 23, 2017 09:32AM

Forest City’s David LaRue and a rendering of 38 Sixth Avenue and the Barlcays Center (Credit: SHoP Architects)

Forest City Realty Trust is laying off 50 employees as it sells off its retail and entertainment assets.

“We have to make extremely tough choices,” CEO David LaRue wrote in a letter to employees Thursday. “This was a very difficult, but ultimately necessary step as we work to ensure our organization is sized to meet the needs of our portfolio and pipeline, now and in the future.”

The Cleveland-based parent of development firm Forest City Ratner Companies employs around 2,000 people, the Wall Street Journal reported. The laid-off employees mostly work in the firm’s retail and entertainment business.

Last year the real estate investment trust announced that it would restructure its business to focus on urban office space and apartments. It recently reached a deal with Madison International Realty to sell its stake in a New York City retail portfolio and unloaded its federally assisted housing portfolio to Jonathan Rose Companies for $500 million.

The company is co-developing the Pacific Park megadevelopment in partnership with Greenland USA, whose CEO recently said the partners plan to break ground on new buildings in 2017.  [WSJ]– Konrad Putzier