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Have an opinion on the controversial Pier 6 plan? Your voice could still make a difference in the debate, but you need to act fast. Whether you’re pro-towers or anti-development, the period for public comments on the proposal — to develop two ODA-designed towers at the park’s south entrance — ends this evening at 5p.m.

Haven’t yet made up your mind? Here’s what you need to know.

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The Long Island College Hospital development is beginning to affect neighbor relations. A group of 24 Cobble Hill residents and members of the Cobble Hill Association (CHA) sent out a press release Wednesday calling for the ouster of its first vice president and acting president Roy Sloane.

Some members of the CHA, which staunchly opposed the sale of the former hospital, feel Sloane is not fighting the development as strongly as he should be.

The plans of developer Fortis Property Group — to build high-rise residential towers on the LICH site — have garnered passionate opposition from locals who feel the buildings will be out of scale with the surrounding areas. Despite Sloane’s more than 35 years with the CHA, some members feel his private meetings with Fortis are yielding few of the changes the community desires.

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Brownstoner received this email today from Brooklyn Bridge Park President Regina Myer. She reminds us the public comment period on the modification to the General Project Plan will close at the end of the month, and repeats the park’s arguments in favor of development on Pier 6.

“To the Brooklyn Bridge Park Community:

The Pier 6 development, approved in the Park’s General Project Plan 10 years ago, is essential to keeping Brooklyn Bridge Park beautiful and maintaining the high standards of care that make it such a special space.

There is currently an opportunity to make improvements to the Pier 6 development by including permanently affordable, middle-class housing units, a public pre-k facility, community space and additional parkland – all while actually reducing the size of the development. To facilitate this, the Park has requested that the GPP be modified to address these additional community benefits. (more…)

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At the start of yesterday’s public hearing on the controversial plan to redevelop the Brooklyn Heights Library, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams asked the packed courtroom to maintain a certain level of decorum, reminding the 200-plus attendees, “we can disagree without being disagreeable.”

After the impassioned outbursts at July’s community board meeting on the Heights Library project, Adams seemed determined to keep things civil, saying:

“There is no way the most highly educated part of our city cannot come to an agreement on how we move forward to navigate the challenges of this conversation. This library conversation is only one of many… If Brooklyn can’t get it right, no other city is going to get it right.”

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More than 100 Cobble Hill residents packed a standing room-only meeting Thursday about the controversial redevelopment of the Long Island College Hospital site in Cobble Hill. News reports said the presentation by developer Fortis and architect Dan Kaplan of FXFOWLE was mostly a rehash of previously revealed plans, but two surprising things were said:

  • Fortis has still not closed on the sale. It expects the sale will go through in August, the developer told the Brooklyn Eagle.
  • Fortis said it would offer 20 percent affordable housing in exchange for a rezoning.

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A public planning meeting about the controversial redevelopment of Cobble’s Long Island College Hospital site has been set for Thursday at the Brooklyn Montessori School. Convened by local public officials, the Cobble Hill Association and developer Fortis Property Group, the purpose of the meeting is to hear from local residents, businesses and other concerned members of the public about Fortis’ proposed plans.

Fortis will present two proposals, which Council Member Brad Lander has called a “lesser of evils” situation. The public is also invited to discuss alternatives. (more…)

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On the same day as a scheduled public hearing about the controversial plan to build two residential towers at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6, the corporation responsible for the park released via Crain’s an economic report that claims that income from the proposed towers are necessary for the park’s financial future.

Critics of the plan are not thrilled about the report’s timing or its findings.

The 35-page study by Barbara Byrne Denham, an economist at the real estate research firm REIS, is a challenge to digest in an afternoon before heading off to the community meeting. But one thing stood out: Denham writes that the predictions about the success of two other developments under way in the park, Empire Stores and 1Hotel, are overly optimistic.

“I believe Empire Stores will likely not lease up its space in two years nor earn the rents the model assumes,” writes Denham, adding that the stores “will not get the foot traffic in winter months that it needs to earn a strong profit.”

Yikes. That can’t be easy for the developers behind Empire Stores to hear. They’re like the oldest kid being pushed aside when the new baby comes along. (more…)

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The state Economic Development Corporation is holding a hearing tonight on the plan to build a pair of residential towers at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park — and both opponents and supporters of the plan will be out in force.

As we’ve covered previously, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation needs a modification of the park’s General Project Plan to move forward with proposed affordable housing in the planned 31- and 15-story towers. Community Board 2 approved the modification earlier this month; this hearing is the next step in the approval process. (more…)

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You may have thought the movement to save the view of the Brooklyn Bridge from the Promenade was dead, since the lawsuit over the Pierhouse development was decided in Brooklyn Bridge Park’s favor in June, but community group Save the View Now is hoping to resurrect its case. Last week the organization filed a motion to amend its complaint and renew its motion for a preliminary injunction based on what claims is newly discovered evidence that the developer, Toll Brothers and others involved in the project misrepresented the use of the controversial 30-foot bulkhead that blocks the view of the Brooklyn Bridge.

The City, Empire State Development Corp, Toll Brothers and Starwood Capital have always contended that the bulkhead, which exceeds the legally mandated building height of 100 feet but is not counted as part of the building, was needed to house the building’s mechanicals since, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, they could no longer be located in the basement. Save the View Now says it has uncovered plans that show that the bulkhead will be used for more frivolous purposes than housing mechanicals. (more…)

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When the Long Island College Hospital closed in 2014 after a 16-month legal battle, Cobble Hill residents weren’t happy. When developer Fortis Property Group officially signed on to buy the former LICH compound a month later, residents weren’t happy. When Fortis revealed renderings in May for the site’s proposed residential development, residents still weren’t into it.

But now, a few of the unhappy inhabitants of Cobble Hill have created a virtual location to lobby for what they do want: NoTowersInCobbleHill.org.

A place for news updates, actionable steps, and donation collection, the “No Towers” site is just the latest in a number of online initiatives helping (and hoping) to shape Brooklyn development.

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Some of the last buildings that the government seized from their longtime owners in order to make way for the Atlantic Yards project are likely to be demolished soon. Demolition permits were filed on Thursday for 491, 493 and 495 Dean Street. The three 19th century row houses sit close to the corner of 6th Avenue, right across from Barclays Center in Prospect Heights.

The buildings, pictured below (491 is on the left), were part of a long dispute with developer Bruce Ratner of Forest City and the then Empire State Development Corporation. Eventually, the owners and their families, some of whom had lived here for generations, were ordered by the state to vacate the properties in September of 2014 and reportedly had 90 days to do so. The sums they were offered by the state for the properties were not made public. (more…)

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RAL Development’s Robert Levine, far left; ODA New York’s Eran Chen. Photos by RAL and ODA

Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp. has chosen developer-architect team RAL Development Services, Oliver’s Realty Group and architect firm ODA New York to design and build two controversial residential towers on Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, park officials announced Tuesday afternoon.

The winning proposal was selected from 14 submissions, and the process was held up by a lawsuit. That lawsuit has concluded, but now the plan must go through a public review process.

The winning design is more restrained than is typical for ODA but still shows its signature theme of assemblages of boxes. It also matches the existing condos right next to the sites at One Brooklyn Bridge Park, aka 360 Furman Street, a former 1920s Jehovah’s Witnesses industrial building that winning developer RAL Development Services converted to residential use a few years ago.

Significant details of the development have changed, thanks to Mayor de Blasio’s call for affordable housing on the site, the lawsuit and controversy over the height of a development in another corner of the park, at the Pierhouse condos and 1Hotel. (more…)