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At Forest City, our vision is to be the real estate leader and partner-of-choice in creating distinctive places to live, work and shop. That vision springs from our history, a true example of the American dream, and carries through to today, as we take our next step as a brand new real estate investment trust – 95 years in the making.

Founded in 1920
Forest City was founded in 1920 after the Ratowczer (later changed to Ratner) family emigrated to the U.S from Poland. Through hard work and good fortune, the family building materials business – started by four siblings, Charles, Max, Leonard and Fannye Ratner – grew and expanded beyond the founders' wildest dreams.

The company originally sold building materials to contractors, eventually expanding into retail. In the 1930s, the company purchased its initial lots for community development and bought its first apartment building. Forest City built prefabricated apartment housing in the 1940s, while also developing its first strip shopping malls.

Publicly traded in 1960
Forest City’s real estate operations continued to grow as the company went public in 1960, initially offering 450,000 shares over the counter and joining the American Stock Exchange a few months later and eventually moving to the New York Stock Exchange, where our shares are traded today.

Exceptional properties created
The 1960s, 70s and 80s saw the company’s development footprint expand from the Midwest to California and New York as it became known for dynamic urban developments. The company would exit the retail and lumber businesses to focus on the ownership, management and development of real estate.

In the 90s and 2000s, Forest City completed some of its most well-known projects, including the world-renowned Stapleton community in Denver, The New York Times Building in Manhattan, University Park at MIT near Boston, and Victoria Gardens in California.

Strategically focused REIT in 2016
Today, Forest City is strategically focused on creating value for all stakeholders – including our residents, customers, partners, associates, shareholders and communities – as a brand new real estate investment trust. As a REIT, we set ourselves apart by:
  • Exceptional retail, office, apartment and mixed-use operating assets
  • Core markets focused on vibrant urban environments
  • Transformational development and place-making strengths
As many at Forest City are proud to say, “we stand on the shoulders of giants,” meaning the men and women who built the company from the ground up. Our associates, who possess incredible talent and an unwavering commitment to our core values, continue that legacy today, working together as one Forest City: a brand new REIT – 95 years in the making.
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