The Real Deal New York

Community group president out as LICH fight heats up

Cobble Hill Association's Roy Sloane faulted for negotiating with Fortis
September 03, 2015 08:30AM

“To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war,” Winston Churchill said, but community activists fighting the redevelopment of the former Long Island College Hospital site in Cobble Hill beg to differ.

Acting president Roy Sloane of the Cobble Hill Association announced his resignation in the face of criticism from the group’s members that he was wasting time negotiating with Fortis Property Group, which is redeveloping the site, and City Council member Brad Landler, who is mediating, Politico reported.

Fortis filed plans to build a 44-story luxury condo building on the site. In the face of community opposition, the developer, despite having an as-of right to build, offered to move its main tower further away and construct a smaller building on the site, on the condition that the city rezone the area to allow for more market-rate residential space.

Activists are rejecting negotiations though, and instead opting to sue Fortis, though there’s no clear legal rationale for such a suit.

In a letter to the Cobble Hill Association, Sloane wrote. “The danger of an out-of-scale skyscraper district in our low-rise, historic community is very real — but for me, the greatest tragedy would be for the Fortis development to leave a torn and divided community in its wake.”

The group will meet on Sept. 10 to elect a new board. [Politico] Ariel Stulberg