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"Brand" Opening at Westchester's Ridge Hill Nears: Eighty-One-Acre Shopping Complex in Yonkers, N.Y. to Celebrate Debut Of Highly Anticipated Stores and Restaurants October Openings Include: The Cheesecake Factory, Desigual, Gap, H&M, L.L.Bean, Old Navy, Orvis, Sephora, Whole Foods Market, and Yard House

Weekend Celebration - From Thursday, Oct. 20 through Sunday, Oct. 23 - Features Live Entertainment, Disney's Muppets' Giveaways and More

YONKERS, N.Y., Oct. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Westchester's Ridge Hill, the New York metropolitan area's largest mixed-use outdoor shopping center, will celebrate the first in a series of "brand" openings next week, unveiling brands never before seen in the area, coupled with an unrivaled shopping experience.

Located in Yonkers, N.Y., Westchester's Ridge Hill, which spans more than 81.4 acres and will include 1.3 million square feet at full build-out, will change the shopping habits of tens of thousands of New Yorkers. Best of all, this exceptional destination is conveniently situated just off the New York State Thruway I-87 at Exit 6A, and the Sprain Brook Parkway Tuckahoe Road West Exit, making it easily accessible to New Yorkers and tourists alike.

To commemorate the opening of many exciting restaurants and retailers, Ridge Hill will host a four-day celebration, complete with live music, street performances and interactive characters. The festivities are scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 20 through Sunday, Oct. 23.

Ridge Hill will soon boast delectable food options such as a 50,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market; New York State's first Yard House, with its award winning selection of over 150 beers on tap and American cuisine; and The Cheesecake Factory, with seating for 295 guests. The complex will also welcome popular national retailers L.L.Bean, H&M, Old Navy, Sephora, Orvis, Gap and Desigual — all slated to open their doors this month, with more new store openings to follow in November and December.

At dusk on Thursday, Oct. 20, Yonkers' Mayor Philip A. Amicone will greet the crowd alongside Forest City Ratner Companies'(FCRC) chairman and chief executive officer Bruce C. Ratner, James A. Ratner, chairman and chief executive officer of Forest City Commercial Group and Andy Silberfein, executive vice president and director of retail and finance for FCRC. Other attendees will include city and county officials as well as the project's architects, who have worked for years to bring Ridge Hill to fruition.

One of the highlights of the celebration will be the premier of a state-of-the-art fountain designed by acclaimed designer WET Design. This one-of-a-kind fountain show, featuring choreographed sheets of fire and water, will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Also, Flambeaux Fire, from America's Got Talent, will be performing a theatrical fire show at sundown on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Muppet-themed promotions such as trivia games, activities and giveaways will also be creating a splash.  Bring your cameras! All the fun is in anticipation of Disney's "The Muppets" – in theatres on Nov. 23. 

Visitors will have the opportunity to take home reusable Ridge Hill shopping bags and climb aboard Westchester's Ridge Hill Express, a vintage-inspired trolley offering complimentary rides with great views of the complex. Ridge Hill will provide trolley transportation throughout the year.

"This is an exciting opportunity for not only Westchester but the entire tri-state area and we are eagerly anticipating celebrating this occasion with the vibrant Yonkers community," said Bruce Ratner, chairman and chief executive officer of FCRC. "We have great brands on board and our retailers are thrilled to be associated with the dynamic Ridge Hill project."  

Earlier this year, Ridge Hill opened National Amusements, Inc.'s Cinema de Lux – a 12-screen movie theater featuring a restaurant, bar and children's playroom – as well as REI and Dick's Sporting Goods.

In addition, WESTMED Medical Group recently opened an 84,000-square-foot medical facility providing primary and specialty care services, radiology and phlebotomy, as well as an urgent care center. WESTMED's lobby also hosts Ridge Hill's customer service location where Ridge Hill gift cards are sold, and wheelchairs, information and other services are provided.

Developed by FCRC, this family- and pet-friendly outdoor center will continue taking Yonkers by storm with the anticipated opening of Sur la Table and Charming Charlie in early November. Republic of Couture and Guitar Center are under construction and will open in the near future.

In addition to the openings this year, the excitement continues after the New Year. In March 2012, renowned fashion retailer Lord & Taylor is expected to open an 80,000-square-foot location to anchor Westchester's Ridge Hill – making it the first new, full-line Lord & Taylor since its landmark mall store opened in Alexandria, Va. in 2001. 

Popular health club LA Fitness, Brazilian-style steakhouse Texas de Brazil, Italian restaurant Brio Tuscan Grille, and Cuban eatery Havana Central – the first outside Manhattan – are also expected to be rolled out in early 2012. Stay tuned for more exciting tenant announcements!

Ridge Hill features a dynamic atmosphere, distinctive architectural design, pedestrian-friendly street planning, a lush town square, and a children's play area with a slide designed by famed sculptor Tom Otterness. Additionally, it provides parking space for up to 4,700 vehicles while The Cheesecake Factory, WESTMED Medical Group and Lord & Taylor will offer valet parking.

Ridge Hill is also expected to provide a major boon to the local economy, adding an anticipated 4,000 full-time jobs, 5,500 construction jobs once fully built and generating estimated annual sales tax revenue of $24.2 million.

"This project will serve to invigorate the greater Westchester area bringing local jobs and tax revenue at a time when they are greatly needed," said Andy Silberfein, executive vice president and director of retail and finance for FCRC. "We are proud to have partnered with Yonkers Workforce Development to connect people with retailers and jobs and to promote hiring from the local workforce."

Thursday's festivities will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a Yard House ribbon cutting by Mayor Amicone; the restaurant will host a private party later that night. The entertainment starts at 2 p.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Media interested in the launch should call Hundred Stories PR at (212) 570-2700.

Westchester's Ridge Hill's regular hours follow:
Monday – Saturday: 10 a.m.9:30 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m.7 p.m.
Restaurant and theatre hours vary

For more information, please visit http://www.westchestersridgehill.com

ABOUT FOREST CITY RATNER

Forest City Ratner Companies, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Forest City Enterprises, Inc., owns and operates 32 properties in the New York metropolitan area. Forest City Enterprises, Inc. is an NYSE-listed national real estate company with $10.7 billion in total assets. The Company is principally engaged in the ownership, development, management and acquisition of commercial and residential real estate and land throughout the United States. For more information, visit www.forestcity.net.

SAFE HARBOR LANGUAGE

Statements made in this news release that state Forest City Enterprises' or management's intentions, hopes, beliefs, expectations or predictions of the future are forward-looking statements. Actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements due to various risks, uncertainties and other factors. Risks and factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the impact of current lending and capital market conditions on its liquidity, ability to finance or refinance projects and repay its debt, the impact of the current economic environment on its ownership, development and management of its real estate portfolio, general real estate investment and development risks, vacancies in its properties, further downturns in the housing market, competition, illiquidity of real estate investments, bankruptcy or defaults of tenants, anchor store consolidations or closings, international activities, the impact of terrorist acts, risks associated with an investment in a professional sports team, its substantial debt leverage and the ability to obtain and service debt, the impact of restrictions imposed by its credit facility and senior debt, exposure to hedging agreements, the level and volatility of interest rates, the continued availability of tax-exempt government financing, the impact of credit rating downgrades, effects of uninsured or underinsured losses, effects of a downgrade or failure of our insurance carriers, environmental liabilities, conflicts of interest, risks associated with the sale of tax credits, risks associated with developing and managing properties in partnership with others, the ability to maintain effective internal controls, compliance with governmental regulations, increased legislative and regulatory scrutiny of the financial services industry, volatility in the market price of its publicly traded securities, inflation risks, litigation risks, as well as other risks listed from time to time in the company's SEC filings, including but not limited to, the company's annual and quarterly reports.

SOURCE Forest City Ratner Companies



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