The Q at Parkside
News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.
Saturday, June 28, 2014
Rally Today Against 626 Joins Forces
In an interesting twist to the ongoing saga around 626 Flatbush, neighbors are joining forces with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters to protest today from 1-3 pm. It's a positively European development against the development, where coalitions of workers and other groups like students are common.
Posted by Clarkson FlatBed at 8:11 AM
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Every neighborhood in the city is becoming taller.
Fortis signs contract with SUNY to buy LICH in Brooklyn
By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn loses a hospital, and a developer gains a million square feet of Cobble Hill.
After more than a year of community protests and litigation, the State University of New York on Tuesday announced it has signed a contract with developer Fortis Property Group for the sale of the Long Island College Hospital (LICH) complex.
Fortis plans to develop the property as co-ops. The company is paying $240 million for the 20-building LICH campus, and was required to put down a $24 million deposit upon signing.
Six local community groups, officials, doctors, patients and unions had waged a ferocious battle against SUNY in state Supreme Court for more than a year to preserve the historic hospital, which SUNY closed last month, save for a vestigial walk-in clinic.
“We look forward to completing the sale of the LICH complex and this is an important step forward as all parties work to ensure SUNY can responsibly exit the property while vital healthcare services will continue to be available to the Brooklyn community,” said SUNY Assistant Vice Chancellor for Communications David Doyle.
On Friday, Concerned Physicians of LICH and the six community groups involved in the LICH litigation said in a statement, “Because we have reason to believe that the State University of New York has acted illegally, and continues to do so, we call on the Department of Justice, the King’s County District Attorney, the New York State Attorney General, and the New York State Inspector General to investigate SUNY’s actions.”
On Friday, leaders of the NAACP and other minority groups called on Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday to “do the right thing” and halt the sale. The groups also want SUNY’s sales process to be investigated. SUNY chose Fortis over two higher-ranked minority developers.
SUNY took over the hospital in May 2011 with the promise of keeping it in operation, but moved to close less than two years later.
‘Free-standing’ ER planned
As part of the deal with SUNY, Fortis agreed to lease from 80,000 to 90,000 square feet to NYU-Langone and Lutheran Family Services, which will provide a “free-standing” emergency room, clinics, a cancer treatment center and a small number of observation beds. A building housing these health services is to be constructed by Fortis starting six months after closing, which is expected to take place in six to nine months.
NYU agreed to take over the walk-in clinic under its own license on September 1. The clinic, on the site of the LICH ER which once handled 50,000 emergencies a year, now sees roughly 35 patients a day, all with minor complaints, according to SUNY. NYU is paying SUNY to maintain these services through September.
Development could be ‘dramatically out of scale’
Councilmember Brad Lander told the Brooklyn Eagle on Tuesday that the LICH site was zoned R6. “I doubt they would get to 50 stories,” but what Fortis could build as of right “would be dramatically out of scale,” he said.
“I’m nervous – anxious about what Fortis can do as of right, and what they would propose via rezoning,” he said.
“It would not protect the Cobble Hill Historic District, and not be contextual zoning. Over a year ago I asked City Planning and the Landmarks Commission to consider contextual rezoning, and they said ‘Let’s see what happens.’”
Contextual zoning would ensure that new construction or additions could not exceed the 50 foot height limit that covers the rest of Cobble Hill.
The following is from the Historic District Council's recent response to a real estate industry attack on historic district designation, but it could just as well apply to the desire of real estate developers to build ever higher and higher:
"The real estate industry is not suffering because of landmark designation, even if one accepts their outsized claims of the preponderance of landmark properties littering the market, the owners, sellers and operators of those properties are doing quite well by all accounts. They’re just not getting EVERYTHING they want. So, like any hungry beast, from the Minotaur to a house cat, they are complaining loudly that they are not getting fed RIGHT NOW with WHAT THEY WANT. That doesn’t mean the rules governing the city are bad, broken or even need reform. It just means they’re hungry"
REBNY has had a vendetta against landmarking for years, because developers (who are the smallest group of members, but the ones who fund REBNY's lobbying efforts, and, you can be sure, this study) are absolutely salivating over areas like the Upper West Side, Downtown Brooklyn (REBNY fought tooth and nail against the Downtown Broooklyn Skyscraper District, and I was so thrilled when it passed), and, of course, Midtown East. And you can be sure that affordable housing construction is NOT what they're planning!
I am dues-paying REBNY member, and I do think it does a great job in a number of areas, but we are in fundamental disagreement on this point - and most of my fellow REBNY member agents and brokers (especially those of us who work in historic Brooklyn neighborhoods)also oppose them. Unfortunately, our Mayor is in the developers' pockets, so I'm very afraid of what's going to happen next.
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