Some Cobble Hill residents are rather displeased with newly-revealed renderings for luxury apartments on the site of the long-contested Long Island College Hospital in their neighborhood. "This is going to be a decade-long battle," one man shouted during a developer's presentation to the community last night, Brooklyn Paper reports. "This is war! Eighty percent of the people in this room are attorneys and they will be up your ass every step of the way."
One proposal, which is in compliance with current zoning (and is reportedly not the developer's first choice) calls for a 44-floor apartment tower on Atlantic Avenue and Pacific Street, plus two 14-floor buildings and a 19-floor building within a few block radius, as well as "lower residential buildings, medical facilities, and open green spaces filling out the rest of the complex," the Brooklyn Paper reports.
The second plan, which is too dense to comply with current zoning, includes a 40-floor tower on Hicks and Atlantic, and a nearby pair of towers, one 30 floors and the other 20, with some ground-floor retail mixed in. The developer is much more excited about this second plan, which would require going through the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure to get an exemption from the current zoning.
Fortis' first plan, which complies with current zoning (Fortis Property Group via Curbed)
The affordable-unit breakdown in the second proposed plan nears 60/40: 600 market-rate unions and 220 affordable units, according to Curbed. The old hospital campus will also feature park space, and a new NYU Langone healthcare center.
Last October, a two-year battle over the fate of the 506-bed hospital, founded in 1860, ended with SUNY's sale of the property to Fortis Property Group for $240 million. It was a sad day for many locals, who counted one starry-eyed mayoral hopeful as an ally. “This community needs its hospital. People’s health—not the profits of the real estate industry—needs to be our priority," de Blasio said back in the summer of 2013.
Even though most of historic Cobble Hill is tower-proof, the LICH property falls outside of the neighborhood's historical district, where buildings aren't allowed to exceed four stories.
In hopes of influencing the property's new developer, Curbed reports that the Cobble Hill Association came up with a list of demands, including Thou Shalt Not Use Glass Facades, and Thou Shalt Not Build Towers That Exceed 50 Feet.
UPDATE: In a statement issued this afternoon, a Fortis spokesman called last night's meeting "a first step in establishing a productive community dialogue about the redevelopment of the former LICH site." He added, "Unlike what we're allowed to build as-of-right, our preliminary rezoning proposal includes a contextual design in line with needs we've heard expressed through local stakeholders: affordable housing, more public park space, potential for a public school, and continuous street walls." Still, "The former LICH site is, quite understandably, the source of much frustration among local residents. We’re eager to continue working with them to make our plan as good as it can be for the site and the neighborhood."