Cobble Hill

More details on Fortis’ development of former LICH site, now called River Park

7 properties in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn

April 17, 2017 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Fortis Property Group on Monday revealed more details about development at the site of the former Long Island College Hospital (LICH). Shown above: The Polhemus Townhouses, with the landmarked Polhemus Building to the left. Rendering courtesy of Williams NY
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Fortis Property Group on Monday revealed some more details about further development at the sprawling site of the former Long Island College Hospital (LICH) in Cobble Hill.

The site is being developed after years of lawsuits and opposition. Local residents and officials nixed the developer’s push to trade a public school and affordable housing for denser development, so the properties are all being developed as luxury.

Fortis has dubbed the development River Park. It will be comprised of seven properties (six buildings and a cluster of eight townhouses) spanning nearly one million-square-feet, including the landmarked Polhemus Building, townhouses and towers.

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Several apartments within the Polhemus Residences and the Polhemus Townhouses have already hit the market. The two projects are the first phase of the River Park development.

The Polhemus Residences — 17 luxury condos designed by BKSK Architects within the 19th Century Polhemus Building —  include two- to five-bedroom homes priced from approximately $2.5 million to over $6 million.

The Polhemus Townhouses, comprised of eight individual residences designed by Douglas Romines, will run adjacent to the Polhemus Building along Amity Street, between Henry Street and Hicks Street. The townhouses are priced from roughly $6 million to over $8 million.

Phases Two and Three

As Phase Two of River Park, three additional new construction properties are expected to launch sales in late 2017, according to a release from Douglas Elliman. Construction of these properties is slated to begin this year with completion expected by 2020.

These include 1 River Park, which will feature studio to three-bedroom apartments designed by FX FOWLE located at the site of the former LICH garage, on the southwest corner of Atlantic Avenue and Hicks Street.

On the northwest corner of Hicks Street and Pacific Street will be 2 River Park, a tower designed by Hill West. The tower will house one- to four-bedroom apartments and a penthouse.

To go up at the northeast corner of Henry Street and Amity Street, 5 River Park, designed by Douglas Romines, will consist of one- to four-bedroom apartments.

The final two properties within River Park that will launch as Phase Three include 3 River Park, a building yet to be constructed,  and 4 River Park, a converted former hospital building. Sales for this final phase are expected to commence in 2020, with completion expected in 2022.

New skyline, overcrowded schools

Real estate executives said the developments would create “an iconic new skyline rising above the tree-lined blocks of Cobble Hill.” Residents say the massive new development threatens to overwhelm the traditional low-rise neighborhood.

The city has not come up with a plan for more school seats in the area. Families are already contending with waitlists for local public school kindergartens, according to DNAinfo.

SUNY Downstate Medical Center (SUNY Downstate), submitted a closure plan for LICH in July 2013 in what many — including gubernatorial contender Zepher Teachout —called a corrupt process. After SUNY eliminated the top two bidders, Fortis was selected in October 2014 to purchase the LICH campus for $240 million.

Fortis officially closed on the site in 2015, following a wrenching multiyear legal battle joined by seven community associations, unions and officials, including then-Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.

As part of the deal, NYU Langone will be providing a 108,000 square-foot walk-in Emergency Department / ambulatory care clinic in a new five-story building to be constructed at 70 Atlantic Ave. at the corner of Hicks Street (the site of the former 12-story Fuller Pavilion at 339 Hicks Street). The clinic is expected to open in 2018. Residents say the clinic is no substitute for the full service hospital closed by the state at the site.

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