After several contentious community meetings that did not produce any fruitful results, demolition work is set to commence next week at the Long Island College Hospital site in Cobble Hill, DNAinfo reports. As a measure of safety the playground on the development site, known as the Blue and Yellow LICH playground will close, most likely until the summer. Demolition crews are expected to demolish the exteriors of the Fuller Pavilion and the Othmer Pavilion in the hospital complex, with work on the interior already having begun.
It is likely that the buildings being demolished will make way for the NYU Langone-operated medical facility.
The LICH redevelopment project is being undertaken by the Fortis Property Group. They purchased the site for $240 million and plan to convert it into high rise condos that include affordable housing, a school, and additional parking. However in order to do that, Fortis needs a rezoning approval. As of right Fortis can build slightly taller residential buildings and the hospital. But with the rezoning, Fortis can build more housing that's spread out through comparatively shorter buildings that also provide affordable housing, space for parking, and a school. Community members have not been enthused by either proposal so far.
Mayor Bill de Blasio is currently trying to broker an agreement between the warring parties, according to Politico New York. Regardless the larger of the two plans will have to go through a ULURP Process to move forward. The demolition work closest to the playground has been given precedence, so it can reopen in time for the summer.