Farewell, Forest City? MaryAnne Gilmartin may be teaming up with L&L principals on new firm

Website, now taken down, bills L&L MAG as "a proud woman-owned and managed company"

New York /
Jan.January 14, 2018 10:37 AM

From left: David Levinson, MaryAnne Gilmartin and Rob Lapidus

After more than two decades with Forest City, MaryAnne Gilmartin may be setting off on her own.

Gilmartin, the CEO of Forest City New York, and L&L Holding principals David Levinson and Robert Lapidus have built a website for what appears to be their new development firm. The website describes the company, L&L MAG, as a collective of builders that “develop beautiful projects that enhance the skyline and streetscapes of our communities while delivering value to partners and investors.”

Photos on the site show the three, along with four other top Forest City New York executives — Jeffrey Rosen, Adam Greene, Ashley Cotton and Susi Yu — with new titles. Gilmartin will serve as CEO and co-founder, while Levinson and Lapidus are listed as co-founders. Yu is described as managing director and head of development. Greene and Rosen are also listed as managing directors, who will respectively oversee construction and capital markets.

Jeffrey Rosen, Susi Yu, Adam Greene and Ashley Cotton on L&L MAG

The site has now been pulled down. It was first spotted by Norman Oder, the author of the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park report, who wrote about it for the Bridge on Saturday.

Gilmartin and Forest City didn’t respond to requests for comment, nor did representatives for L&L. In October, L&L formed a $500 million joint venture with a pension fund to acquire properties, The Real Deal reported at the time. It’s unclear if any of this dry powder will be used for L&L MAG projects.

Given that she bills herself a “hopeless developer,” Gilmartin’s move may not come as a shock. Forest City New York, the local arm of Forest City Realty Trust, has already shifted away from ground-up development, shying away from ventures like its massive Pacific Park project in Brooklyn and turning to investing in market-rate apartments and office properties — i.e. behavior more befitting a real estate investment trust.

In August, Gilmartin said it would be a waste for Forest City to relinquish its position in the market as a builder.

“It takes a lifetime to establish the credibility and the reputation and the partnerships that we have in New York,” she said. “To not take advantage of that going forward in a responsible and responsive way to the market just doesn’t make any sense at all.”

Gilmartin joined Forest City Ratner (the local arm of Forest City Realty Trust, now called Forest City New York) in 1994. She took over as CEO in 2013, succeeding Bruce Ratner. Since then, she’s been the local face of the company and one of the very few women at the helm of a major development firm in the city. She’s overseen the controversial 22-acre mega development, Pacific Park, (formerly known as Atlantic Yards), the new New York Times building at 620 Eighth Avenue and the Frank Gehry-designed residential tower at 8 Spruce Street.

But the REIT’s now at a crossroads. After a decade of various hurdles — a parade of land seizure lawsuits, partner infighting and construction glitches — the future of Pacific Park  remains uncertain. Only four of the 15 planned buildings are complete with an encroaching 2025 deadline to complete 2,250 affordable housing units. In October, 2016, Forest City stopped all work at the development until further notice, citing a $307.6 million accounting loss on the project. The REIT and its partner, Greenland USA, which owns a 70 percent stake in the development, previously were shopping stakes in some of the remaining sites, though they indicated in July that that was no longer the case, according to the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park report.

The draft website for L&L MAG emphasizes that the new firm is a “woman-owned and managed company dedicated to inclusivity in the real estate industry.” This is on-message for Gilmartin: She’s repeatedly described Forest City as a “meritocracy” that’s enabled several women to ascend to executive-level positions. And if you ask others in the industry to identify a female CEO of a development firm, her name is the first — and often the only — one that comes to people’s minds.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
(iStock/Illustration by Alexis Manrodt for The Real Deal)
Manhattan job losses in Q3 worst of any large county in the US
Manhattan job losses in Q3 worst of any large county in the US
Rudin Management's Bill Rudin, 1675 Broadway and Gannett CEO Mike Reed (Getty, Google Maps, Gannett)
Gannett to move its NYC office two blocks north
Gannett to move its NYC office two blocks north
CBRE CEO Bob Sulentic. (CBRE, Getty)
CBRE’s 2020 earnings down 8%
CBRE’s 2020 earnings down 8%
January is the second consecutive month of increase in new home sales. (Getty)
Sales of new homes up 4.3% in January
Sales of new homes up 4.3% in January
A rendering of the facility at 1029 Newark Avenue in Elizabeth, Fidelco chairman Marc Berson and Elberon Development Group chairman Ann Evans Estabrook (Photos via JLL, Fidelco and Elberon)
Cold storage facility in New Jersey gets $34M loan
Cold storage facility in New Jersey gets $34M loan
Silverstein Properties' Larry Silverstein and Phase I of the Denizen Bushwick at 54 Noll Street (Getty, Google Maps/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
Silverstein offers to buy half of All Year’s Bushwick rental complex
Silverstein offers to buy half of All Year’s Bushwick rental complex
HSBC COO John Hinshaw (Getty, iStock)
HSBC to shrink its office footprint amid shift to WFH
HSBC to shrink its office footprint amid shift to WFH
(iStock/Illustration by Alexis Manrodt for The Real Deal)
US home prices are more than 5% too high: Fitch
US home prices are more than 5% too high: Fitch
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...