Cobble Hill

Fortis files plans for another tower on the Long Island College Hospital (LICH) site

December 26, 2016 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Fortis Property Group filed plans on Thursday to build a 28-story, 110-unit apartment building at 339 Hicks St., shown circled in the preliminary diagram above. Diagram courtesy of Fortis Property Group
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The controversial redevelopment of the former Long Island College Hospital (LICH) campus in Cobble Hill continues with another tower announced on Thursday.

Fortis Property Group filed plans with the city’s Department of Buildings to build a 28-story, 110-unit apartment building at 339 Hicks St., between Atlantic Avenue and Amity Street. The plans were filed by Goldstein, Hill & West Architect.

The filing shows a pool and fitness room on the building’s lower level along with a bicycle storage room, two floors of residential amenity space, a roof terrace on the 20th floor and a full-floor penthouse.

This is the third filing for towers on the former hospital’s 20-building campus.

Fortis filed plans earlier this month to build a17-story tower at the site of a seven-story garage at 350 Hicks St. at the corner of Atlantic Avenue.

The developer has also filed plans for a 15-story residential building at 347 Henry St., the former LICH pharmacy/nurse’s residence at the corner of Amity Street. This site is close to the Polhemus Building, which the company is also redeveloping.

After these first two filings were made public, the Cobble Hill Association called them “a punch in the gut” and said they were reviewing them with zoning and land-use experts. Fortis is allowed to build the towers in the historic low-rise neighborhood, however, because long ago the hospital campus was left out of the historic district as a community benefit.

Fortis bought the historic hospital campus from SUNY for $240 million after a protracted legal battle with numerous community organizations and local officials. After presenting two versions of its development plans to CHA, the company decided to move forward with the as-of-right version, which will not require rezoning.

Last month, Fortis President Joel Kestenbaum said in a statement, “Based on the high demand for community facility space at this premier location, timing and other development factors, an as-of-right redevelopment is the most profitable.”

The Brooklyn Heights Association called the Fortis announcement “a sorry coda to a string of failures and even misuse of power by government agencies and elected officials whose mandate is to uphold the public interest over private enrichment.”

The as-of-right development plan was bad news for Mayor Bill de Blasio, who had backed an alternate plan which would have included affordable housing, a priority of his administration. This plan, which would have required community review via ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure), entailed 43 percent more development in total than the as-of-right plan, and it was opposed by CHA and Councilman Brad Lander.


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