Brooklyn Heights

Heights Library redevelopment moves forward in public review process

June 16, 2015 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Renderings courtesy of Marvel Architects

Brooklyn Heights Library’s redevelopment has moved forward into the City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP). The Land Use Committee of Community Board 2 is set to meet tonight, June 17, to hold a public hearing on the transfer of the library to developer Hudson Companies and related matters. The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. at NYU Poly (5 MetroTech).

The plan, however, has drawn opposition from some library advocates who see it as the selling off of public assets for the benefit of private developers.

BPL President and CEO Linda Johnson said the start of the public review process marks “an important step toward providing Brooklyn Heights with the world-class library its residents deserve, and infusing much-needed funding into our network of neighborhood libraries.” 

The project will replace the building at 280 Cadman Plaza West — which BPL says requires more than $9 million in repairs — with a brand new facility. The 21,500-square-foot library — one of the largest in the BPL system — will be part of a mixed-use building to be developed by the Hudson Companies, Inc. and designed by Marvel Architects. The branch will be a flagship library for the neighborhood, offering new collections, technology and extensive programs, according to BPL.

More than $40 million from the $52 million sale will be invested in neighborhood branches with urgent capital needs, significantly reducing the current $300 million in unfunded capital needs across BPL’s 60-branch system, according to BPL.

As part of the project, Hudson Companies will also build 114 units of affordable housing. Hudson has secured binding contracts for two sites within Community District 2, at 911-17 Atlantic Ave. and 1041-47 Fulton St. The affordable units will be built without using any city or state capital subsidy, without Federal tax credits and without low-interest subsidy financing.

BPL recently concluded a planning process, led by Marvel Architects, for the new library that included a survey, an interactive exhibit and a series of workshops. The results of this process will inform the programming for, and ultimately the design of, the new library. Results and opportunities to leave additional feedback are available at http://www.bklynlibrary.org/brooklyn-heights-project.

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