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Forest City Star Developer Melissa Burch Leaves for Lend Lease

Melissa Burch, formerly in charge of Forest City Ratner's massive 22-acre Atlantic Yards project, will now lead development for real estate giant Lend Lease as executive general manager for New York for the Americas Development business. She will be replaced by former Howard Hughes exec Susi Yu.


Melissa, a Bisnow power woman, landed her first gig at FCR via a cold call 11 years ago and ascended to the high-profile role of EVP in 2013, replacing MaryAnne Gilmartin, who became CEO. (We also profiled Melissa as part of our New Gen Leaders series, which spotlights under 40 execs.) While there, she oversaw commercial and residential development of Brooklyn’s Atlantic Yards and supervised leasing of Forest City Ratner's office and residential operating portfolios. The New York Daily News reports that Melissa leaves amid delays and cost overruns at B2 BKLYN, slated to be the tallest modular high-rise in the world at 32 stories. An FCR spokesperson told the Daily News Melissa's departure wasn't related to the building's problems. At Lend Lease, she’ll help the company find new development sites in New York and nationally.


Howard Hughes exec Susi Yu will replace Melissa as FCR EVP. It's her second stint at the company, where she's already a 12-year vet, having played a major role in projects such as 8 Spruce, the downtown tower designed by Frank Gehry. Susi, who immigrated to the US from Korea at age 10, has a background as a trained architect and has worked for Robert A.M. Stern on hotel, public, multifamily and single-family projects.