Cobble Hill

Fortis Property Group files permits for row of townhouses at former LICH site

October 7, 2015 By Scott Enman and Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
An aerial view of the former Long Island College Hospital (LICH) site. Eagle file photo by Mary Frost

Fortis Property Group has filed permit applications for eight townhouses in Cobble Hill at the former Long Island College Hospital (LICH) site, despite the fact that serious talks are underway regarding an extensive rezoning proposal.

The Real Deal first reported the filing regarding seven townhouses on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Fortis filed an additional application with the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) for an eighth building.

Fortis, which has developed a number of Brooklyn properties, including a five-story condominium at 30 Henry St. and several condominiums across Williamsburg, will build the proposed townhouses at 88-98 Amity St.

Excavation began on the site without a permit in September, according to DOB records, and a partial Stop Work Order is in effect.

Six of the houses will be four stories tall, and two will be five.

Each house will come with a rooftop terrace and a parking space, according to The Real Deal.  

Cobble Hill and surrounding neighborhoods fought the state’s sale of LICH for years. Last year, Fortis Property Group won the much-litigated bidding war to buy the hospital complex for $240 million. Since then, at forums hosted by the Cobble Hill Association, Fortis has presented two versions of possible development, both showing towers of up to 40 stories in the historically low-rise neighborhood.

In the first version, in which Fortis would be able to build “as-of-right” with no ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure) review process, tall towers are envisioned, with a 44-story tower on Pacific Street between Henry and Hicks, a 19-story tower on Hicks between Pacific and Amity, and a 14-story building at the site of the current parking garage on the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Hicks Street.

The ULURP proposal includes a 40-story tower at the current parking garage site, 20- and 30-story towers on Hicks between Pacific and Amity, a 16-story tower on Pacific Street, the seven townhouses along the south side of Amity Street, and a six-story addition atop the H-shaped hospital building. A school is also being considered.

Whichever proposal Fortis moves forward with, the developer can build the townhouses as-of-right, according to The Real Deal.

For months, Fortis has been negotiating back and forth with community groups and officials on the proposals. Amid squabbles over development, leadership and legal issues, Roy Sloane, the acting head of the Cobble Hill Association, tendered his resignation, as did others on the board.

A new board was recently elected which has begun forming committees to focus on finance, legal, schools, infrastructure and other issues related to the proposed massive development.

Former president of the Cobble Hill Association Franklin Stone told the Brooklyn Eagle on Wednesday, “I don’t know how anyone can make a comment on the proposal until the community has had a chance to review the proposal in its entirety.”

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