Brooklyn Heights Public Library and Condo Superstructure Climbs Past One-Third Mark


The 36-story luxury condo on the former site of Brooklyn Public Library’s Brooklyn Heights branch is slowly rising.

During a recent visit to 1 Clinton Street, whose address was previously 280 Cadman Plaza West, the steel superstructure of the building had passed the one-third mark. It currently stands 14 stories tall, with no facade and the top four floors wrapped. Four more stories and the steel will reach the midway point.

The project broke ground in July of 2017 but as of February 2018, the site was not much more than a hole in the ground.

280 cadman plaza

Designed by Marvel Architects, the project 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 — 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, located 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.

But 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 the 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.

In April 2018, it was announced that six bas-reliefs that were part of the facade of the previous library on the site were saved, and would be featured in the new library.

[Photos by Craig Hubert unless otherwise noted]

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