The controversial Brooklyn Heights Library redevelopment is finally moving forward after developer Hudson Companies filed demolition plans with the city's Department of Building last Friday, the Brooklyn Eagle reports. With that news, a clear timeline has also emerged for construction over the coming months.
Interior demolition work at the site will likely get underway in December and take between four to six weeks to wrap up. That will be followed by exterior demolition in January, which in turn will take between four to eight weeks.
Though the plan to transform the existing building into a 36-story tower with a smaller library at base gained city approval, many local residents have been opposed to it from the start. They are concerned about its height, and the additional traffic it will bring to the already crowded streets in the area.
Hudson Companies fought off a lawsuit by a local group this past summer, and the Brooklyn Heights branch was closed in July for the redevelopment. In the interim, the Brooklyn Heights branch is operating out of Our Lady of Lebanon church on Remsen Street.
The first order of business will be asbestos abatement work which begins at the site this Wednesday. Incidentally, the sale of the site to Hudson Companies hasn’t actually closed yet, the Eagle points out. The Brooklyn Public Library and Hudson have signed an interim agreement, and if for some reason the project falls through, Hudson will have to restore the library building to how it was pre-demolition, at their own cost.
BPL is hoping for the project to be complete in the next 3.5 years, and once work has wrapped up the new 36-story building will have 134 condos, 1,000-square-feet of retail, and a 27,000-square-foot library.