A Hospital Undergoes Surgery And Emerges As A $240 Million Condo Complex
From sick beds to hip homesteads, Long Island College Hospital emerges from the O.R. as a luxury condo complex.
The Long Island College Hospital is not in Long Island. And It’s not a hospital. It’s in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn and last year it was purchased last year by Fortis Property Group for $240 million. And guess what, just like everything else in the borough, it’s becoming a condo building.
The neighborhood hasn’t been too supportive of this purchase and neither have the politicians. Almost a year after its purchase, Fortis Property Group released two differing plans for the site. One with affordable housing, retail and mixed-use buildings, which could get started in a New York minute. The other with only market-rate housing and a facility for the local community—but no low to middle income housing. The latter plan would be subject to New York’s land-use review process. Fortis hinted that they’d rather embark on the former plan, since it would start immediately.
Between the de Blasio administration, community members who are against the re-development and endless negotiations, plans are now at a standstill. Until now. Fortis Property Group, officially said that it would “ …not seek a compromise rezoning…” much to the dismay of the City Hall who’d hoped to make available 200 affordable housing units and a public school part of the development. Instead, the former hospital, all 529,000 square feet of space has traded sick beds for hip homesteads, going full on luxury in all 250 units.
“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,” said Joel Kestenbaum, Fortis Property Group’s President.
The Mayor wasn’t impressed, “This is not the plan we wanted, and nobody won here,” said a spokesperson from his office. The Cobble Hill Association opposed both proposals. The size of the project would directly combat the historic neighborhood’s height restriction of 50 feet for tall buildings. They have even gone so far as to question the right of the Fortis Property Group to build on the land, as federal investigations about the sale of the hospital are on-going. Mayor de Blasio was originally spearheading attempts for the hospital to remain open and assisted in contracting a deal with the state. He wanted to keep a medical facility on-site back in 2013 when it was declared that the hospital was hemorrhaging cash and was actively looking to sell to a developer. Preet Bharara, US Attorney for Manhattan is investigating the hospital’s sale to Fortis.
However, it seems all the opposition and controversy did was put off the inevitable: new luxury condos win- historic neighborhoods, activist groups, low income housing and hospitals lose… once again.
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