Arrested Development: Modular Tower At Atlantic Yar—Er, Pacific Park Stalls Again

Jessica Dailey
B2-AUGUST27.jpg
B2-AUGUST27.jpg

[The sad, stalled tower, seen yesterday.]

Man, modular construction—supposedly faster, easier, and cheaper than regular construction—is turning out to be a pretty big pain in the butt for B2, the first residential tower of Atlantic Yards, now known as Pacific Park (this name switcheroo will take awhile to get used to). Located beside the Barclays Center at 461 Dean Street on the corner of Flatbush Avenue, the tower, which was originally supposed to be complete by the end of this year, has stalled yet again. A clash between developer Forest City and contractor Skanska over cost overruns has caused Skanska to issue a stop work order; on Wednesday, workers on the project received notice that they would be furloughed immediately, and if the conflict is not resolved, they will be laid off on September 23.

The Wall Street Journal and Crain's were the first to report the news, and it seems that both sides are blaming the other for the problem. The mods for the 322-foot-tall SHoP Architects-designed tower, to be the tallest modular building in the world when complete, are being constructed in a factory at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and the dispute stems from increased costs in their fabrication. No exact numbers have been given, but sources told the Journal that it's in "the tens of millions of dollars."

Skanska says the problem is because the design of the modules is faulty and that there are "technological issues." Richard Kennedy, co-chief operating officer of Skanska USA Building, told the Journal, "We've invested more into that venture than we ever anticipated or agreed to. No contractor in America would continue working under those circumstances."

But Forest City says that Skanska is just trying to "weasel" its way out of a sticky situation that is its own fault. Crain's published a statement from a Forest City spokesman that says, "This is a dispute over the costs of delays resulting from Skanska's own failures and missteps as the construction manager for B2 modular. Skanska entered into a construction management agreement based on a fixed price which they guaranteed. Now faced with overruns, they are employing a typical strategy to try to weasel out of that obligation."

Sounds like a good time.
· Cost Dispute Halts Work on Modular Apartment Tower in Brooklyn [WSJ]
· NYC's tallest modular tower stalls out, again [Crain's]
· Atlantic Yards Tower B2 [Curbed]
· Atlantic Yards Rebrands As Pacific Park, Reveals Next Building [Curbed]