Pierhouse LICH Sunset Park

The ongoing state of construction throughout Brooklyn is not only producing more buildings, but noise complaints, safety concerns, and many unhappy residents.

In a story in the New York Times examining real estate development-related stresses and complaints, three of four projects covered are in Brooklyn: an affordable housing addition to the Sunset Park Library (pictured above), the Pierhouse complex in Brooklyn Bridge Park, and the ongoing development at the former Long Island College Hospital.


Brooklyn Bridge Park Funding Bonds

Another chapter has started in the Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 6 controversy. The New York City Comptroller’s Office said Tuesday that the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation (BBPC) might be able to fund capital improvements to the park by issuing tax-exempt bonds, The Brooklyn Eagle reported.

Pier 6 opponents are pushing officials at the BBPC to explore using the bonds for park funding instead of the current plans to build two revenue-generating apartment towers at the park’s south end.


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New York State Supreme Court Judge Knipel dashed what would appear to be the last hope of a community group fighting the height of Pierhouse in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Monday, the judge dismissed Save the View Now’s case against the controversial 30-foot-high bulkhead on top of the building — a structure which blocks the view of the Brooklyn Bridge from the Promenade.

Save The View Now responded with a strongly worded statement: “If we allow this ruling to stand, it means that government entities are free to hide and mislead the public and do whatever they deem in their discretion, with no accountability or recourse to the public. This is simply wrong and unacceptable.” (more…)

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Today Brownstoner received this update from Steven Guterman of Save the View Now concerning the status of the court case it is pursuing against the controversial Pierhouse development in Brooklyn Bridge Park. We have reached out to the developers and Brooklyn Bridge Park for comment, and will update this post if we hear from them.

“We are sure you are eagerly awaiting for Judge Knipel’s decision following our court hearing on August 6, 2015. At that conclusion of the hearing, Judge Knipel stated he came in with the intention to rule from the bench (presumably consistent with his decision denying our motion for a preliminary injunction) but following the hearing, he would need 1-3 weeks before coming to a decision. We left encouraged.

It has now been over five weeks.

While it is impossible to read anything into the extended period of time, we are hopeful that this is a good sign. (more…)

IKEA Red Hook Controversy

If you ever visit the IKEA in Red Hook, you might think it a buzzing furniture-shopper’s paradise. Admiring the store’s striking views of the Statue of Liberty, your shopping bags filled with particle board and your stomach filled with lingonberry, you might assume that the IKEA couldn’t have inspired an ounce of controversy. But oh how wrong you’d be.

In the great tradition of Brooklyn mega-developments, the construction of the Red Hook IKEA was passionately opposed on multiple fronts. Here’s a brief look back at the dramatic saga of the Red Hook IKEA.


Brooklyn Heights Library Plan Disapproved By Borough President Eric Adams

In a surprising move, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams submitted his official recommendation to “disapprove with conditions” the plan to sell and redevelop the Brooklyn Public Library branch at 280 Cadman Plaza West in Brooklyn Heights. Adams’ announcement is an official part of the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) and means that nine affirmative votes are required from the City Planning Commission on September 22 in order for the development plan to move forward for a City Council vote.

Adams took issue with the fact that the plan contained no explicit guarantee that cash from the library sale would go back to the Brooklyn Public Library rather than into the city’s general fund. He proposed additional changes to the proposal, including adding a public school annex for the overcrowded PS 8 and permanent affordable housing to the site.

Adams also outlined an entirely new model for funding Brooklyn’s library system.


LICH Site Closing First Installment Complete

It turns out reports last week that developer Fortis Property Group had finally closed on the sale of the former Long Island College Hospital site in Cobble Hill were not entirely accurate. The complete sale will come in three parts, and may take years to complete. Fortis closed on the first of the three parts Friday, Brooklyn Eagle reported.

The “trifurcated closing schedule,” to use the legalese, consists of an “Initial Closing” portion, now complete. Yet to come are the “New Medical Site Closing” and the “Final Closing.”


Fortis Buys Long Island College Hospital

Fortis sealed the deal. After a multiyear acquisition process fraught with controversy and litigation, developer Fortis Property Group closed on the sale of the former Long Island College Hospital, according to Crain’s. Fortis purchased the LICH complex for $240,000,000 from the State University of New York.

The deal encompasses about 20 existing buildings in Cobble Hill — roughly 542,000 square feet of space — and brings Fortis one step closer in its plan to build four high-rise residential towers and other developments at the site. Members of the local community opposed the sale and continue to fight the high-rise construction.



Roy Sloane, the controversial first vice president and acting president of the Cobble Hill Association, today announced that he is stepping down from the neighborhood organization. Two dozen Cobble Hill residents called for Sloane’s ousting last week and organized a special meeting for September 10 to discuss his departure.

The Cobble Hill Association is in the midst of fighting a plan by Fortis Property Group to built two high-rise residential towers in the neighborhood on the site of the former Long Island College Hospital. Sloane had been representing the CHA in talks with Fortis,  but several members did not believe that he was fighting the development as strongly as he should be.