Brooklyn Heights

Former Brooklyn Heights Library site, Pier 6 developments move ahead

January 18, 2018 By Raanan Geberer Special to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The case of the Brooklyn Heights Association versus two controversial towers in Brooklyn Bridge Park is in the hands of the judge now. Rendering courtesy ODA-RAL Development Services/Oliver’s Realty Group

Plans to market two controversial high-rise condo developments — 280 Cadman Plaza West, at the site of the former Brooklyn Heights Library, and one of the two towers at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park — are underway.

Passers-by can see construction work proceeding at 280 Cadman Plaza West, developed by Hudson Companies, on a daily basis. 

The library branch was demolished in April after a bitter struggle in the community. Councilmember Stephen Levin (D-Brooklyn Heights-Downtown) in 2015 helped to craft a deal by which Hudson would buy the building, demolish it and build a 36-story tower that would include a new 26,620-square-foot library. Still, some local residents, especially those affiliated with a group called Citizens Defending Libraries, continued to oppose the deal and mounted unsuccessful legal action. 

According to The Real Deal, the price for condos will average out to $3.6 million apiece. The site reports that an offering plan filed with the state Attorney General’s Office has a total offering price of $477.7 million, the publication reports.

The new building will also include two retail spaces and a STEM lab operated by the city Department of Education. As part of the deal, Hudson Companies redeveloped the social hall of Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Cathedral on Remsen Street into a temporary library branch, which is now in operation.

The second project is the Pier 6 development at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Two buildings have been planned for the site, which is near the foot of Atlantic Avenue, and one would include affordable housing units.

A “teaser site” is now online for one of the two buildings, the 28-story “Quay Tower,” Curbed reports. According to the site, the building will be completed later this year. Two-bedroom apartments will start at $1.9 million; three-bedrooms will start at $2.9 million; four-bedrooms from $5 million; and five-bedrooms from $5.5 million. All pricing is estimated. 

The high-rise towers were planned for the park as a way of funding park maintenance and improvements. As such, they are supported by Brooklyn Bridge Park’s governing body. However, the Brooklyn Heights Association (BHA), the Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund and People for Green Space Foundation, have opposed the towers saying they are not necessary financially to fund the park.

In 2016, BHA filed suit against the Empire State Development Corporation, the City of New York, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation and RAL Development Services (the developer). 

No final ruling has been reached in the case. In July, state Supreme Court Justice Lucy Billings ruled declined to issue a temporary restraining order for construction at the site, but warned that the developers would be starting construction “at their peril” in case she rules against the development.

Peter Bray, executive director of BHA, said, “We’ve been opposing this project for a long time, we feel we have very good and well-developed arguments, and we’re confident that two towers won’t be built at this sensitive and important location in Brooklyn Bridge Park.”