Crews Work on Foundation at Brooklyn Heights Public Library and Condo Development


Hotly debated, a controversial development project is under construction.

The 36-story luxury condo on the former site of Brooklyn Public Library’s Brooklyn Heights branch at 280 Cadman Plaza West is progressing, with crews digging the foundation and constructing foundation walls when Brownstoner visited Monday.

The project broke ground in July of 2017, Hudson developer David Kramer told Brownstoner.

brooklyn heights public library 280 cadman plaza west

Designed by Marvel Architects, it will ultimately house 133 homes, a new 26,620-square-foot library on the first three floors, retail on the ground floor — including Brooklyn Roasting Company and a rotating series of pop-up food vendors organized by Smorgasburg, according to the building’s website — and 9,000 square feet of STEM classroom space for School District 13.

The development also includes 114 units of affordable housing at two sites in Clinton Hill at 1041-1047 Fulton Street and 911-917 Atlantic Avenue.

Renderings via Hudson Companies

Rendering via Hudson Companies

Proponents of the project, including the library, said the sale would increase the space accessible to library patrons at 280 Cadman Plaza West and help fund needed repairs throughout the Brooklyn library system.

Local residents who opposed the project, including community activist group Love Brooklyn Libraries, saw the sale of the site as an irretrievable loss of valuable public property in exchange for a quick, unsustainable financial fix.

brooklyn heights public library 280 cadman plaza west exterior

The former library in 2015. Photo by Barbara Eldredge

The contested proposal to sell the branch to private developer Hudson Companies for $52 million was approved by City Council during a vote in December 2015. City Council approval was uncertain until Council Member Steve Levin came out in support of the project, with tweaks including more space for the library and income for the library from condo sales, less than a week before the vote.

[Photos by Craig Hubert unless otherwise noted]

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