Fortis Property Group, developers of the former Long Island College Hospital site in Cobble Hill, have been at odds with the locals since plans for the megaproject were announced. Now, construction is underway, and according to the Brooklyn Eagle, the developers haven’t exactly endeared themselves to the neighborhood: residents say they are being “shaken awake” by the sounds of demolition starting as early as 5 a.m.
Thanks to After Hours Variances (AHV) issued by the DOB, Fortis does have permission to kick off work brighter and earlier than usual. The DOB has approved what’s supposed to be seven days for the demolition of the site at 339 Hicks Street, allowing work from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends.
But neighbors claim that Fortis contractors are flouting those rules to start work in the wee hours of the morning. And so, once again, the Cobble Hill Neighborhood Association is facing off against Fortis. On Friday, the Eagle reports, six officials representing the area sent a letter of complaint to the DOB about the after-hours permits—as well as to note “other unsafe conditions at the site.”
“We urge the Department of Buildings (DOB) to reject any future AHV applications at the former LICH site and ensure Fortis, the developer, complies with safety and security requirements,” said the letter, which was co-signed by state Sen. Daniel Squadron, U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon and Councilmembers Brad Lander and Stephen Levin.
"Where we had LICH, there's now a developer that thumbs its nose at the community to pursue out-of-context development,” Sen. Squadron told the paper. Fortis had no comment on the situation, the Eagle said.