Developer Fortis Property Group has put up a new website for its redevelopment of the contentious Long Island College Hospital (LICH) campus in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, revealing a new suite of renderings for the luxury neighborhood-in-a-neighborhood. After Fortis declined to wage a zoning battle in 2016 and decided to build out their as-of-right scheme on the LICH campus, the developers renamed the sprawling site River Par. The contentious project is being split into several parcels among different designers, with five new market-rate residential buildings across River Park, and a renovation and conversion of the landmarked Polhemus Building and nearby townhouses into luxury housing. With the phase one renovation of the 1897 Beaux Arts Polhemus Building already underway, more details about the five planned towers are slowly coming to light. Information and images of the Romines Architecture PLLC-designed, split-volume 5 River Park were released in January, and now renderings of 1 and 2 River park have been made public. 1 River Park, designed by FXCollaborative, will feature an undulating series of facades across a glassy curtainwall. While the design was supposedly inspired by the interplay of light and waves on the nearby East River, it also bears certain biomorphic qualities. The balconies, some of which will be up to 300 square feet, will directly face the East River. The 15-story tower will hold 48 units ranging in size from studios to three bedrooms. 2 River Park will be River Park’s tallest project at 475 feet tall. Designed by Hill West Architects, the tower will also feature a split-volume massing; one section will be clad in curved glass (to preserve views of the river) and rise to a tapered point, while the rectangular lower section will have vertical stone louvers running up its sides. The masonry section at the building’s base reference a mast, with the billowing glass half on top referencing a sail blowing in the wind. While the exact number of units for 2 River Park hasn’t been made public yet, Fortis is promising “half-an-acre of sky gardens” for residents. Fortis has released a new master plan rendering as well, which shows how the new towers will slot into the existing neighborhood, as well as the Polhemus Building and Polhemus townhouses. The eight townhouses have also received updated renderings, and BKSK Architects is handling the renovated of the Polhemus tower, whileRomines Architecture is responsible for the townhouses. Construction on River Park is expected to wrap up in 2020.
Posts tagged with "Long Island College Hospital":
After a tumultuous history of protests, arrests and community pushback, the redevelopment of the Long Island College Hospital (LICH) campus in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, into a luxury community is moving full steam ahead. Now named River Park, renderings for the development’s final tower, 5 River Park, have been revealed via New York YIMBY. Romines Architecture PLLC is designing the 91,000-square-foot tower. Split into two volumes, the 15-story tower will hold 30 condo units atop a lot-spanning ground floor lobby and parking area. As originally reported in 2016, owner Fortis Property Group had opted to build out the former LICH site as-of-right, forgoing a rezoning that would have required the company to build affordable housing in exchange for denser development. Now, as shown in the project’s master plan, Fortis has moved ahead with plans to build five new market-rate residential buildings throughout River Park, and retrofit the landmarked Polhemus Building and nearby townhouses into luxury housing. As part of the first phase, which is ongoing, the Polhemus Building, an 1897 Beaux Arts “hospital skyscraper” and part of the hospital there until its closing in 2008, is undergoing an exterior renovation and interior redesign by BKSK Architects and will eventually hold 17 condo units. The second phase is the most contentious part of the redevelopment, as the five planned towers will bring hundreds of high-priced units to the neighborhood. A different architecture firm has designed each, as Fortis wants River Park to be seen as a “new neighborhood” rather than a cluster of residences. Information on 3 and 4 River Park has yet to be released. FXCollaborative (formerly FXFowle) is designing the 15-story 1 River Park at 350 Hicks St., which will hold 48 apartments ranging from studios to penthouses. While no renderings have been released yet, the building will have an outdoor pool, gardens, and something called an “amenity pavilion.” Hill West Architects will be designing the tallest of the River Park towers, as 2 River Park, or 339 Hicks St., will top out at 440 feet tall. While the exact number of apartments included in the complex hasn’t been made public yet, a rooftop garden will be available for residents that will offer sweeping views across the East River into Manhattan. The design fully plays up the site’s proximity to the river, as Fortis notes it “is composed of a strong masonry tower acting as the 'mast,' supporting the 'sail,' a west-facing glass screen that curves like the headsail on a yacht.” Fortis has described the design of 5 River Park as contextual, stating that it uses “a palette of traditional materials common to Cobble Hill, including brick, limestone and elaborate metalwork.” The shorter half of the building will also be clad in traditional brick in contrast to the more modern, dark-grey concrete of the taller half behind it. Construction on 5 River Park is ongoing. It remains to be seen where a healthcare facility run by the NYU Langone Medical Center will be relocated to; the continuing operation of the center, with its freestanding emergency room, must be included by Fortis as part of a settlement reached with the city. Construction in the area is expected to finish in 2020.
Long Island College Hospital (LICH) has officially checked out of the mayor's plan to build or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing.
Owner Fortis Property Group will not seek to rezone the Cobble Hill, Brooklyn site, which means it can build market-rate (read: luxury) housing there instead. Mayor Bill de Blasio fought to keep the hospital open during his mayoral campaign three years ago; when that option became unlikely, the mayor fought to convert the site, a 20-building complex, into a mixed-use development with an affordable housing component.
The all-powerful market has spoken, though, and it has quashed those housing plans. "We have decided to move forward with an as-of-right redevelopment plan for the LICH site," Fortis president Joel Kestenbaum told Politico. "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." Right now, an NYU Langone–operated medical facility occupies the site, and a smaller facility will be included in the redevelopment under the same operators. When the hospital closed in 2014, the mayor's office pushed to rezone the site to allow for denser development: Plans called for moving the tallest proposed tower away from the low- and mid-rise residential neighborhood and closer to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, which slices through Cobble Hill's western edge. Councilmember Brad Lander, whose district includes the LICH site, was skeptical of the density increase inherent in the rezoning. Lander would consider legal action if the development plan consists of a 35- and a 14-story tower, which the councilmember called "obnoxious" and "hideous." Fortis is still nailing down details of the conversion, though plans are said to include retail, a school, and green space.The hospital deal is one of many sites being studied by the U.S. attorney's office as part of its investigation into the mayor's fundraising practices and allegations of pay-to-play deals centered on real estate.
After a long and heated fight to save Brooklyn’s Long Island College Hospital from demolition, the site’s future as a medical center has been cemented. But along with the full-service hospital could come two residential towers that are significantly taller than anything in the predominantly-brownstone Cobble Hill neighborhood. According to Crain’s, “the would-be real estate developers of the medical campus are counting on high-rise residential towers of a scale never before seen in the heart of brownstone Brooklyn in order to make the deal pencil out, according to emails among executives involved in the bid.” Brooklyn Health Partners—a company created to participate in the bidding process for the project—is reportedly planning two 40–50 story towers at the site, one condo and one rental. The scale of these towers was not included in the team’s winning bid. The group's spokesperson told Crain’s they’re not yet focused on that part of the project. To get this plan approved, the development team is also adopting what Crain's called the “Domino approach”—a reference to the winning strategy for the redevelopment of the Domino Sugar Factory. At that site, the developer, Two Trees, was granted zoning changes in exchange for an increase in affordable housing. Plans for the towers at the Long Island College Hospital site call for 20 percent affordable units in the condo tower, and 40 percent in the rental. As the with Domino, this plan requires approval from the de Blasio Administration and City Council. Updated 4/30/2014: Sources tell the Daily News that Brooklyn Health Partners' plan to maintain a hospital on the Long Island College Hospital site has likely collapsed. The News reports, "De Blasio, state officials and two powerful healthcare unions all but acknowledged that the winning bidder for the site, a group called Brooklyn Health Partners, has little ability to follow through on its pledge to maintain a hospital there." A spokesperson for Brooklyn Health Partners rejected this report, saying, "On May 5, BHP will make a $25 million non-refundable payment and show it has the financial means to complete the entire project." Watch this space.
It looks like South Brooklyn will have plenty of new condos, but perhaps a dearth of services. This morning, the board of trustees of the State University of New York (SUNY) voted unanimously to close Long Island College Hospital (LICH) in Cobble Hill. According to DNAinfo, Downstate Medical Center president Dr. John Williams told the board that the hospital “was losing money and draining the entire Downstate system.” Protests ensued at the public hearing from doctors, nurses, and hospital staff. The 200,000-square-foot campus could have a price tag of up to $500 million. This news comes on the heels of an announcement from Brooklyn Public Library officials that they plan to sell the Brooklyn Heights branch to a developer. The over-extended library is in need of $9 million to renovate the building. According to the Brooklyn Paper, the BPL is hoping a private developer will purchase the 25,000-square-foot property and build a residential building that also houses the library on the ground floor. A number of community members expressed their disapproval at the meeting. Luckily for interested developers, both LICH and the Brooklyn Heights branch are already zoned for residential. These pending sales, however, are part of a larger trend that is sweeping the city, and making headlines this week—cash-strapped city agencies and institutions are increasingly stressed and looking to relieve their financial woes by selling off properties to private developers.