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Trading Christmas for Giant Towers in Cobble Hill

Tonight's meeting of Community Board 6 in Brooklyn should be a lulu. Members of the Board, which represents the neighborhoods of Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Columbia Street Waterfront District, Gowanus, Park Slope and Red Hook, received notice only days ago about a Department of Housing Preservation and Development's (DHP) condo bonanza plan aimed at several narrow streets in Cobble Hill just west of the BQE.

A developer working with the City wants to tear down properties at 75 Columbia Street, 86-98 Congress Street & 79 Warren Street and 104-116 Warren Street & 101-115 Baltic Street, and replace them with towers reaching from 60 to 80 feet high, creating a total of 152 new housing units. The 80-foot giant would contain 102 apartments, or which 40 percent would be "affordable," and an underground parking lot. To accomplish all this, the developer needs a zoning change, from manufacturing (M) to residential (R7).

The sites were all once owned by Long Island College Hospital, which some time ago sold them to the developer. One of the buildings to be destroyed is the old Hamburger Christmas ornament factory on Warren (above), which, though boarded up for some time now, is a landmark cherished by many in the neighborhood. I myself have obsessed about it on Lost City. Locals had hoped the red-brick building would be preserved and converted to new use rather than demolished.

The DHP and the developer should face a touch crowd tonight. The community feels a bit sideswiped by the sudden development. One also has to wonder about the meeting being timed to compete head to head with the Carroll Gardens Town Hall meeting at Scotto's Funeral Parlor, in which City Council Member Bill de Blasio will discuss the desired downzoning of Carroll Gardens. The controversial 360 Smith Street building is sure to be talked over at that meet, but, in comparison to the new Columbia District plans, it almost looks like small potatoes.

The Community Board 6 meeting will commence at 6 PM at Long Island College Hospital, 339 Hicks Street (corner of Atlantic Avenue), Conference Rooms F&G. ?LC
· Glitter on Warren St. [Lost City]