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.

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Hudson Companies today released new renderings showing a different, less glassy look for the wedge-shaped mixed-use tower it plans to build on the site of the Brooklyn Heights public library at 320 Cadman Plaza West.

The release of the renderings comes just before Community Board 2’s Land Use Committee plans to hold a public hearing on the redevelopment of the site Wednesday as part of the formal land-use review process the proposal must go through.

As readers will recall, Marvel Architects is designing a new 36-story building with 139 apartments at 280 Cadman Plaza West, the current location of the library’s Cadman Plaza branch. Hudson Companies is in contract to buy the site for $52,000,000 and the library will own a condo on the ground floor. The library will relocate during construction.

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park slope library

Earlier this month residents in seven Brooklyn city council districts had the opportunity to vote on whether or not to fund a large number of projects using money allocated by the city to each district. The process, known as participatory budgeting, is designed to give citizens more of a voice in how city funds are spent. And now council members representing three of those Brooklyn districts have announced the results of the vote.

In District 39, which runs from the Columbia Street Waterfront, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens through to Park Slope, Kensington and Windsor Terrace, eight projects were funded, including $150,000 for greening Union Street and 9th Street, $250,00 for building a story telling garden at the Park Slope Library (pictured above) and $200,000 for draining a chronically muddy path in Prospect Park. A full list of projects approved by voters in district 39 can be accessed here.

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911 atlantic avenue google maps

During a public meeting last night, developer Hudson Companies revealed the locations of two affordable rental buildings that will be built along with market-rate units at the new Brooklyn Heights Library branch. Hudson will construct 114 units of affordable housing at 911-917 Atlantic Avenue (above) and 1041-1047 Fulton Street in Clinton Hill. The affordable units will be 100 percent privately financed, according to a press release from the Brooklyn Public Library.

On Fulton Street, it looks like Hudson will take over existing plans for a six-story, 28-unit building at 1045 Fulton. Karl Fischer first filed those plans under a different developer in 2013, and a funeral home and two neighboring buildings have already been demolished.

BPL also announced that the community will be involved the design process for the new library, which will include an online and paper survey, interactive exhibit and a series of workshops. Marvel Architects will lead the first workshop on March 23 at 6:30 pm at the Brooklyn Heights Library at 280 Cadman Plaza West. A second workshop will take place April 20. 

Brooklyn Heights Library Coverage [Brownstoner]
Image via Google Maps

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The architects and developers working on the new Brooklyn Heights Library branch at 280 Cadman Plaza West will discuss their progress tonight at a public meeting in the library’s auditorium. David Kramer of developer Hudson Companies will give an update on the project, which will include 132 market-rate units and a 21,000-square-foot library at its base. Hudson will also build 114 affordable units off site. Jonathan Marvel of Marvel Architects will discuss the library’s existing layout, and describe the design and programming process for the new branch. The process will be community driven, and anyone interested can keep track of the project through the library’s page. The meeting will take place tonight at 6:30 pm at 280 Cadman Plaza West.

Brooklyn Heights Library Coverage [Brownstoner]
Rendering by Marvel Architects

greenpoint environmental education center

The Brooklyn Public Library has received a $5,000,000 grant to build an environmental education center on top of the Greenpoint Library, according to a press release. The library has released some interesting renderings and plans for the project, which will add two more floors and a public roof deck to the single-story library located at 107 Norman Avenue. The 6,500-square-foot Greenpoint Environmental Education Center will feature a community composting space, a greenhouse with herb gardens, wind turbines, native plants, event space and classrooms.

The design from Beatty Harvey Coco Architects adds lots of windows and plantings to the one-story brick building with a mansard roof, built in 1973. In addition to the large public roof deck, the renovation will add a smaller roof terrace on top of the first floor. The LEED Silver-certified environmental hub will incorporate a host of “green” building materials, including rooftop solar panels, rainwater collection, energy efficient windows and high efficiency heating and cooling systems.

This funding comes from the Greenpoint Community Enviromental Fund, a state-run program that manages the $19,500,000 settlement awarded to the state over the ExxonMobil oil spill in Newtown Creek. Last month, Greenpoint residents voted on the second round of community projects vying for a piece of the settlement, and the library’s education center is one of the six proposals that won.

Click through for floorplans and an aerial rendering. There will be an opportunity for public feedback on the design and the programming.

The project is expected to wrap in 2018. What do you think of it?

Renderings by Beatty Harvey Coco Architects via BPL; photo by Christopher Bride for PropertyShark

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After a public outcry over plans to redevelop Sunset Park’s existing public library at 5108 4th Avenue with affordable housing on top, library officials Monday presented a revised plan. The new plan calls for a library of 20,000 square feet (vs. 17,000) and 49 affordable apartments (as opposed to 54), DNAinfo reported.

Nonprofit affordable housing developer Fifth Avenue Committee would buy the existing library and put up a new building in its place. The library would own the library portion of the building as a condo, while the Fifth Avenue Committee would own the rest of the building.

The existing one-story library is overcrowded at 12,200 square feet.

Some residents said the library should take up all of two floors, while others said again the development would threaten longtime residents. Some spoke in favor of a bigger library and affordable housing. For details on the affordable housing rents and income restrictions, click through to the DNAinfo story.

If the plan goes through, an interim library space will have to be found. The Fifth Avenue Committee will need to secure financing, followed by a year-long land use review process. Construction could start as early as 2016.

Sunset Park Library Redevelopment Plan Includes Less Affordable Housing [DNA]
Sunset Park Library Coverage [Brownstoner]
Photo by Kate Leonova for PropertyShark