As reported on DNAinfo‘s website, on November 5 the Cobble Hill Association participated in a meeting organized by City Councilman Brad Lander on the subject of affordable housing as it relates to the needs of the community and the current proposals for the redevelopment of the Long Island College Hospital site. A representative of Assembly member Jo Anne Simon‘s office; representatives of the Carroll Gardens Association, which works to preserve and develop affordable housing; Heights & Hills, which provides support services to Brooklyn’s senior citizens; the Brooklyn Heights Association; representatives of Fortis, the developer of the LICH site; and other stakeholders were also in attendance.
The meeting served to educate community groups and stakeholders in the LICH development about the many intricacies involved in building and maintaining affordable housing units within a luxury high-rise development, including income levels, senior services, apartment size, preferences for certain groups, etc. The developer is proposing affordable housing in two of the high-rise towers they are seeking to build (the tallest of which is 35 stories), one housing primarily seniors. However, the representative of Heights and Hills, which has served seniors for decades, asked a number of thoughtful questions about the senior housing component of Fortis’s current proposal and it was clear that Fortis and its partner L&M Development have not made any final decisions about the exact nature of the senior housing or the other proposed affordable units.
CHA is not opposed to affordable housing in any development plan, as long as it is affordable and acceptable to the community. As Council Lander has stated: “The proposals are deeply disturbing to most neighbors, and for good reason: they are dramatically out-of-scale with the Cobble Hill community.” A historic brownstone neighborhood with a 50-foot height limit will be overwhelmed by a multi-tower residential complex with heights of up to 400 feet.