Hundreds of Cobble Hill residents, hospital employees and union reps packed the St. Francis College auditorium Tuesday night to hear a presentation of redevelopment proposals for Long Island College Hospital. Although there are community members on the selection committee, owner SUNY has control and could select one of the plans as soon as April 3, said Brooklyn Paper.

The audience and spokespersons reacted negatively to the five proposals that did not include a full-service hospital. Of the four that do, Prime Healthcare Services got the thumbs up from some attendees, who liked the California corporation’s plan to open a 100-bed hospital without delay.

The paper noted that two of the nine proposals include donors to Governor Cuomo, who oversees SUNY, whose executives “have final say in choosing a buyer for the hospital.” If no operator is found, the hospital will close in May.

LICH Advocates Slam Related, Fortis Overhaul Plans [Brooklyn Paper]

03/25/14 4:00pm


Nine bidders will present their plans for the future of Long Island College Hospital tonight at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights. Four propose running LICH as a full-service hospital. The Chetrit Group proposes to build a 149,000-square-foot “vanilla box” healthcare space whose operator the public will find, mixed with 70/30 housing and a proposed rezoning. Meanwhile, four others want to incorporate freestanding emergency rooms with other medical services in mixed-use developments that include residential plans, offices or schools, according to a detailed overview in the Brooklyn Eagle.

The teams who responded to SUNY’s RFP to develop the hospital are Brooklyn Health Partners, Chinese Community Accountable Care Organization, Prime Healthcare Foundation, Trindade Value Partners, the Chetrit Group, Brooklyn Hospital Center, Fortis Property Group, LANA Acquisitions and Peebles Corporation. The full proposals can be viewed on SUNY’s website. Panels made up of state officials and community representatives have until tomorrow to evaluate the proposals, according to the settlement reached last month in a lawsuit between SUNY, community groups and unions.

Tonight’s meeting will take place from 6 to 8 pm at the St. Francis College Founder’s Hall Auditorium, at 180 Remsen Street in Brooklyn Heights.

LICH Coverage [Brownstoner]

Developer Park Tower Group has gotten the ball rolling on the hotly debated Greenpoint Landing development by filing a building application for a six-story mixed-use building at 21 Commercial Street. Designed by Handel  Architects, the 85,033-square-foot structure will have ground floor commercial space and 93 units on prime Greenpoint waterfront land, according to a new building application filed Monday.

Eventually, the 20-acre megadevelopment will include 10 30- to 40-story towers, a new K-8 school and a public park. The developers also promised to keep 431 apartments “permanently affordable” and to run a shuttle between the development and the G train. Despite significant opposition from the Greenpoint community, the project cleared all the ULURP hurdles in the fall and was approved by the City Council in December.

Greenpoint Landing Coverage [Brownstoner]

Map via Greenpoint Waterfront Association for Parks and Planning


02/10/14 9:00am


Barclays Center has kicked out a real estate conference planned for Tuesday at the venue because tenant groups planned to protest keynote speaker Forest City Chairman Bruce Ratner, The Real Deal reported. LandlordsNY conference organizers were looking for a new venue. But wherever they end up, Ratner will no longer deliver the keynote.

Tenant advocate groups the Fifth Avenue Committee, Met Council on Housing and Make the Road were planning to protest the selection of Ratner as a keynote spaker, saying he is not a good “role model for landlords” because the Atlantic Yards project displaced tenants and has not yet built promised affordable housing, according to the story.

Ratner Yanks Big Event at Barclays Due to Planned Protests [TRD]

Methodist Hospital revised rendering 12014

The full board from Community Board Six voted yes on the new design for Methodist Hospital’s expansion last night, Brooklyn Paper reported. CB6 voted 27 to 4 in support of the eight-story outpatient center but added several requirements. The board said they voted to approve the hospital’s variance because they’re trying to prevent the worst-case scenario for an as-of-right build, which would be a thinner 13-story building.

The approval came with stipulations proposed at Monday’s land-use meeting, which include scaling back the top three stories of glass along 5th Street and 8th Avenue, reducing the height of the building on the 5th Street side, cutting the number of parking spaces, and requiring employees to use only the entrance at 8th Avenue and Sixth Street.

The board also requested a traffic study for the streets around the hospital a year after the outpatient center opens.

Panel Approves Methodist Expansion Plan [Brooklyn Paper]
Rendering via Methodist

01/06/14 4:00pm

Methodist Hospital will unveil a slightly different version of its planned expansion at a Community Board 6 meeting tonight, DNAinfo reported. Although the new renderings Methodist posted Thursday on its website look very similar to the old ones, Brooklyn Paper said the new design “shortens the appearance of the U-shaped medical complex in a few places” and “pull[s] back parts of the upper glass facade” on the 8th Avenue side.

Locals have bitterly opposed the development, which they say would create more traffic for the neighborhood. CB6′s land use committee refused the hospital a zoning variance for the building’s height and massing. Sixteen buildings the hospital owns on part of a block between 5th and 6th streets and 7th and 8th avenues will be demolished to make way for the eight-story building.

Methodist to Unveil Revised Designs for Controversial Expansion [DNAinfo]
Hospital Unveils Design Tweaks Ahead of Round 2 at Community Board [Brooklyn Paper]

12/20/13 4:00pm

Council Member Stephen Levin and the rest of the City Council voted today to approve the two controversial high-rise towers at 77 Commercial Street near the Greenpoint waterfront, according to Levin’s office. The 30- and 40-story towers will bring 200 units of affordable housing as well as $9,500,000 in city funding to create Box Street Park. Affordable housing will make up 28 percent of the total apartments, with a range of 40 to 125 percent Area Median Income.

The city and the developer will provide $14,000,000 in funding to relocate all of the vehicles currently at the park site, including MTA Access-a-Ride vehicles and Emergency Response Units. And the developer promises 9,500 square feet of open space around the two towers, “as a second fully landscaped walkway to serve as community access from the east” and a path to where Commercial Street dead-ends at the industrial waterfront. There will also be a free shuttle to the 7 and G trains (paid for by the developer), and the MTA will work with the developer to run a bus line along Commercial Street.

The development will include at least 5,000 feet of community space, and retailers must occupy less than 5,000 square feet, with preference given to neighborhood businesses. The developer is not allowed to lease to “big box” retailers.

Council Passes Greenpoint Landing, Local Board Votes Yes on Domino [Brownstoner]
Finally, Action on Two Long-Promised Waterfront Parks in Greenpoint [Brownstoner]
Marty Says Yes to Controversial Greenpoint High Rise Projects [Brownstoner]
Rendering by CentraRuddy and MPFP via Wall Street Journal


Yesterday, the City Council was supposed to vote on the proposed towers at 77 Commercial Street, above, part of the controversial and massive high-rise development plan for the Greenpoint waterfront. But the City Council postponed its vote, DNAinfo reported, citing the need for “further negotiations.” A date for the vote, which is the final and binding vote on the project, was not given. The local community board opposes the development, and said more affordable housing, senior housing, and transportation is needed.

Final Vote on Greenpoint Waterfront Towers Postponed by City Council [DNAinfo]
Rendering via DNAinfo

The City Planning Commission voted unanimously in support of outgoing Borough President Marty Markowitz’s plan to revamp the former Childs Restaurant in Coney Island and turn it into an amphitheater and upscale eatery, Brooklyn Paper reported.

However, local residents are less than thrilled about the plan, which will require $53,000,000 in city funds to transform the landmarked but dilapidated 89-year-old building. Neighborhood activists told the newspaper that the money would be better spent repairing Coney’s hurricane-shattered infrastructure, which still suffers from occasional heat and power outages, in addition to sewers that flood when it rains.

And others worried about the traffic and noise from the planned venue, which Markowitz hopes will host 40 concerts a year. The community board voted down Markowitz’s plan two months ago, and Landmarks approved it over the summer.

City Panel Approves Borough President Markowitz’s Controversial Concert Hall [Brooklyn Paper]


Last week, Lightstone Group sent word via Community Board Six that it is starting demolition and other work on the site of its 700-unit complex on the banks of the Gowanus, the blog Pardon Me For Asking reported yesterday. “The Lightstone Group will begin pre-construction site preparation at its Gowanus property,” said the notice.

More specifically, demolition will start at 365 Bond Street. At 363 Bond Street and 400 Carroll Street, the firm will start asbestos remediation. They will also be doing some soil boring and putting up construction fences. The work was scheduled to start yesterday.

Rendering by Lightstone Group via PMFA


Neighbors have been trying to save Boerum Hill’s Church of the Redeemer since the summer of 2012, when the diocese announced its plans to demolish the Gothic Revival structure at 24 4th Avenue. Unfortunately, it seems like the site is destined for high-rise condos. The church is moving forward with plans to sell the property for $17,000,000, according to Carolynn DiFiore Balmelle of the East Pacific Street Block Association.

Halstead will market the large property, she said, which allows up to 70,000 buildable square feet. (We saw a preliminary flier for the property, although there’s not yet a listing online.) However, the diocese requires that anyone who develops the land has to set aside 22,000 square feet for the church. They’re looking for a developer to build an eight- to 10-story condo building with possible ground floor retail.

The East Pacific Street Block Association had presented the diocese with an alternative to demolishing the 127-year-old church: A restorer could restore the building at no cost to the church and hand back all the retail space to them. Even though they could charge an annual rent of $400,000 for the space, church officials have resisted restoring the building, because they say it would take $4,000,000 in repairs to get it back to good condition, she said.

Yesterday we reported on a similar deal to demolish a historic theater and replace it with a private residential development that would include space for the church that last owned the building. At least five other churches in Brooklyn are currently being razed or converted to residential apartments — three in Crown Heights and two in Bushwick.

Can 4th Avenue’s Church of the Redeemer Be Saved? [Brownstoner]
Demolition Slated for 4th Ave’s Church of the Redeemer [Brownstoner]
Building of the Day: 24 Fourth Avenue [Brownstoner]
Photo by Nicholas Strini for PropertyShark