Ugly gridlock behind Barclays Center as contractor terminates agreement

NYC Affordable Housing
The B2 tower behind Barclays Center in May. It will be unfinished indefinitely. (AP)
The B2 tower behind Barclays Center in May. It will be unfinished indefinitely. (AP)
The B2 tower behind Barclays Center in May. It will be unfinished indefinitely. (AP)

Skanska USA Building, the company licensed by Forest City Ratner to construct modular affordable housing behind Barclays Center, has terminated its agreement with FCRC, citing “material breaches” and millions in extra costs, leaving the B2 tower connected to Barclays Center unfinished indefinitely, the company announced today.

“Today is an incredibly disappointing day. Our company has a long history of working with our clients through all kinds of challenges so, at the end of the day, we deliver the best product possible to our clients and the communities in which we live and work,” Skanska USA Building Co-Chief Operating Officer Richard Kennedy said in a prepared statement.

Forest City Ratner President and CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin called Skanska’s tactics “deplorable and disappointing” and will look elsewhere to get the B2 tower’s modular housing completed.

“We… have worked tirelessly to get B2 back on track since Skanska blind-sided us by ceasing construction and putting 157 workers on the street last month,” Gilmartin said in a statement requested by The Brooklyn Game. “Skanska has responded with inaction and inertia, trying to leverage us financially by stonewalling B2’s progress. These are deplorable and disappointing tactics that show remarkable indifference to the wellbeing of these workers and the project.”

A source told The Brooklyn Game that a judge today granted a preliminary injunction for the two sides to meet and discuss their business practices, in the hopes that both sides could re-enter negotiations to try to solve their disputes. An injunction that would force Skanska’s modular company to re-start was denied. The two companies seem gridlocked, with millions of dollars and jobs separating the two.

“While the B2 project certainly has its issues, we were hopeful that our client and partner would address them so we could move forward with building much-needed affordable housing in Brooklyn,” Kennedy added. “But we could not continue to incur millions of dollars in extra costs with little hope that Forest City would take responsibility for fixing the significant commercial and design issues on the project.”

Skanska and Forest City currently have pending lawsuits against the other, both filed on September 2nd within 16 minutes of each other.