Forest City Chief Development Officer Leaving Firm As Ratner Influence Continues To Decline
Ronald Ratner, the son of Forest City founder Max Ratner and the REIT's nationwide development leader, is stepping down from the company.
Ratner had been with Forest City since 1975 and has overseen more than $3B in development, including more than 50,000 apartments. The Real Deal first reported news of his departure, which Forest City reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday.
The chief development officer's departure leaves yet another Ratner-sized hole in the company's leadership as it undergoes another seismic shakeup. Ronald Ratner was one of three Ratner family members, along with Forest City Washington President Deborah Ratner Salzberg and Forest City Dallas President Brian Ratner, to step down from the company's board of directors in March. The fourth Ratner who sat on the board, James Ratner, stepped down as chairman at the same time, but retained his seat.
This summer, Brookfield agreed to acquire Forest City in a deal worth $6.8B in cash, while taking on nearly $5B of its outstanding debt. After decades of private ownership by the Ratner family, the family took the firm public and transformed its corporate structure into a REIT at the end of 2015.
Three and a half years later, the company that grew into a nationwide development force has declined to pursue new projects as it has focused on managing its current assets. It is unclear how Brookfield will handle Forest City's 10M+ SF portfolio and hundreds of employees, including several Ratner family members who remain, when the acquisition goes through.