Posts tagged with "Hudson Companies":

Placeholder Alt Text

Here’s where art on the facade of the Brooklyn Heights library will go

Last week the Department of Buildings (DOB) approved demolition permits for the Brooklyn Heights branch library, clearing the way for a 36-story tower but raising questions about the ultimate fate of the art on the library's facade. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported that exterior demolition at 280 Cadman Plaza West will begin in late March, and take about three months to complete. The new tower, designed by New York's Marvel Architects, will add 133 condos, retail space, and a STEM lab for young people in the neighborhood. An almost 27,000-square-foot library will occupy the development's mezzanine, part of the ground floor, and a below-grade level. Though it's smaller than the low-rise building it's replacing, the city maintains that the new branch will contain more usable space. Moreover, the sale of the city-owned property to developer Hudson Companies for $52 million is set to generate $40 million in capital repair funding for the BPL. Although site work has begun, the library sale and delayed transfer of ownership have remained a point of contention for activist groups like Citizens Defending Libraries, which maintains that no work should begin until the deal between the two parties is signed. So, with plans filed and permits in, there's just one more question—what's happening to the art on the library facade? The Architect's Newspaper previously reported that New York City's Public Design Commission (PDC) had to weigh in on the two bas–relifs by Clemente Spampinato before they could be removed. Keri Butler, deputy director of the PDC, shared the latest on the art's final home in an email:
The Public Design Commission has reviewed the methods and materials for removing the artworks from the facade of the library and temporarily storing them, and has found these methods to be appropriate with the understanding that a proposal for relocating the artworks within the new development at 280 Cadman Plaza West will be submitted by September 2017.
Displaying Spampinato's work in the new library underscores its civic function while preserving the art more-or-less in situ for public enjoyment. There's no word yet, though, on where in the new building the reliefs will be hung when it opens in spring of 2020.
Placeholder Alt Text

Tree removal at Brooklyn Heights library begins, paving way for 36-story tower

A controversial project in Brooklyn Heights sparked protest yesterday morning as developers cut down trees to make way for a condo tower on the site of a former public library. The project in question is the Brooklyn Public Library's (BPL) former Business and Career Library. Last year, developer Hudson Companies won a $52 million contract to replace the library's building at 280 Cadman Plaza. Hudson Companies' plans to redevelop the site includes a 36-story tower with 114 units of off-site affordable housing. As part of their deal with the city, the developer would build a new, 27,000-square-foot library located at the base of the new building. Fast forward to yesterday morning when contractors arrived to cut down several trees on the property in anticipation of demolition. Michael D. D. White of Citizens Defending Libraries was there, along with three fellow members, to protest the tree removal in the context of the library's sale and conversion to luxury condos. "First, [the city and the developers] take something valuable, then they trash it, then"—White gestured to the tree crews hacking away—"they drive away the constituency in all ways they can." As The Architect's Newspaper reported last November, Hudson Companies filed plans to demolish the library in early November, even before they closed the deal for the site. Department of Building (DOB) demolition permits have been filed, though their final approval is pending. A spokesperson for the developer confirmed that the tree removal was permitted and lawful. Hudson is removing five trees total: four within the perimeter of the property and one street tree on the Cadman Plaza West sidewalk for which it paid restitution to NYC Parks. "The construction team will be taking measures to prune and protect the remaining trees on the sidewalk during construction," the spokesperson said. "At the project’s completion, Hudson will plant new trees on the sidewalks per NYC requirements." As the building inches towards demolition, site conditions have deteriorated in some areas. A recent visit revealed a pile of leaves and trash that has accumulated around the library's former entrance, which is visible from the sidewalk but encircled by a metal security gate. Debris from the construction site has been the subject of ongoing community concern, especially since asbestos removal began in October of last year. When reached for comment on plans to clean up the mess, the Hudson spokesperson released the following statement: "Our crews make sure that all public areas around the site are cleared and free of debris at the end of each work day. We also expect them to keep the site itself as clean as possible, and will ensure that they adhere to that standard." The ongoing development begs a final question—what's happening to the art on the library facade? Working with an as-yet unnamed building conservation and repair company, Hudson has plans to remove and store the panels, while BPL is developing plans for the panels' eventual placement. Correction: This article initially stated that demolition permit approvals were pending the site's transfer of ownership from the city to Hudson. The permits' status is independent of the deal closing.
Placeholder Alt Text

Marvel Architects’ Brooklyn Heights Library tower gets green light from New York City Planning Commission

Development at 280 Cadman Plaza West was given the go-ahead at today's New York City Planning Commission meeting. Excluding two commissioners who recused themselves, the commission voted unanimously to approve plans for a 36-story tower designed by Marvel Architects. The mixed-use development will replace the Brooklyn Public Library's Business and Career Library, which opened in 1962. The development will house 136 luxury rental units, ground floor retail, and a new, 21,500-square-foot library. Commissioner Carl Weisbrod noted that the developers, Hudson Companies, would build additional retail on nearby Fulton Street, as well as develop 114 units of affordable housing off-site, along Fulton Street and Atlantic Avenue. The hearing was packed to capacity with members of Citizens Defending Libraries (CDL), a grassroots organization devoted to protecting the city's libraries from being sold to private developers. After the commission's vote, the group reacted in anger and dismay, calling members of the commission "sell outs" and noting that the commission "disregarded all that [we] said" about selling off city property. In a statement, a spokesperson for the Brooklyn Public Library said: "We applaud the City Planning Commission for joining Community Board 2, Brooklyn Heights community organizations, and Brooklynites who care about the future of their libraries in supporting BPL’s plan for a new Brooklyn Heights branch. As the Commission recognized, this project is a win-win for Brooklyn. In addition to bringing a new state-of-the art library to Brooklyn Heights at no cost to BPL, it will also help to alleviate the system's capital crisis by generating more than $40 million that will be invested in libraries throughout the borough. We look forward to continuing this dialogue throughout the public review process." The library is in the midst of a budget shortfall, and the proceeds from the sale will go towards approximately $300 million in deferred maintenance across all BPL branches. CDL claims that the city bestowed a below-market deal on the developers. Michael D.D. White, cofounder of CDL, notes that the property is valued at $120 million. The commission's approval may be the final green light for the development, but judging by the intensity of the activists' disapproval, developers may encounter fierce opposition from CDL in the near future.
Placeholder Alt Text

Marvel Architects’ controversial library and condo development moves forward in Brooklyn

A controversial plan to boost the coffers of the financially-strapped Brooklyn Public Library system with the revenue from a new condo tower is moving forward. Last fall, library trustees approved the $52 million sale of the system's Brooklyn Heights branch to the Hudson Companies which planned to build a new market-rate condo tower on the coveted site. As part of the deal, the developer would also include a new library within the tower and commit to building 114 units of affordable housing off-site. The local community board has now signed-off on the plan, which sends it to the Brooklyn Borough President's office and then onto the City Planning Commission, reported the New York Times. The Hudson Companies has tapped Marvel Architects to design all aspects of the project including the condo tower, new library branch, and the two affordable housing buildings that will rise in Clinton Hill a couple of miles away. (During construction, the developer will also set up an interim library near the existing branch.) The triangular-shaped, 36-story condo tower is clad in limestone and has dark spandrels bands that cut across its skin. The new public library is housed in the building's base, facing Borough Hall and the stately court buildings across the street. On the structure's Clinton Street–facing side, there is space for a lobby, two retail outlets, and a connection to the below-grade community space. The two affordable buildings included in this project have a notably more austere presence, both with boxy brick facades and significant setbacks. The units in these buildings will be available to those making between 60 and 165 percent of the Area Median Income. Brooklyn Public Library president and CEO Linda E. Johnson told the New York Times that $40 million from the sale will go toward four other struggling branches in the borough. It's a significant figure, especially for the system which has $300 million in unmet capital needs. The project could break ground in 2016.