Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC), developer of the $4.9 billion Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn, New York, has officially announced today that the mixed-use complex’s first residential building—a 22-story, 350-unit, metal-and-glass-clad tower designed by SHoP Architects—will be built with modular methods. The developer has estimated that the modular structure, which will have a series of setbacks and cantilevers, will cost about 20 percent less than a nearly identical conventionally constructed tower.

FCRC will partner with construction and development group, Skanska USA, to create FC + Skanska Modular. The new company will rely on union labor to assemble the components in a warehouse in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a few miles from Atlantic Yards. The announcement regarding the building’s construction method was widely expected, but follows protracted negotiations with the local trade unions, who now say that the project will both preserve and create jobs. “We see the potential to have his approach improve our competiveness elsewhere in the local market and expand into an export industry,” said Gary LaBarbera, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York.

Ground breaking for the 322-fot-tall building on a site adjacent to the recently opened arena, Barclays Center (also designed by SHoP), is slated for December 18.

To read more about the project and modular multi-story construction, see our October 2012 article "Paradigm Shift."