Unions fighting Brooklyn Heights Library redevelopment

Labor coalition says Hudson Cos. should be required to pay prevailing wages
November 02, 2015 08:35AM

Organized labor groups are knocking on doors in Brooklyn Heights, agitating against Hudson Companies’ planned redevelopment of that neighborhood’s branch of the Brooklyn Public Library.

The union coalition, which is calling itself “Build Up NYC,” contends the developer should be required to use union labor and pay prevailing wages. That would compensate for, in their view, the “sweet deal” Hudson will receive when it buys the land from the city.

“There’s no standards in this deal at all. We think that this is a pretty sweet deal for the developer,” Gary LaBarbera, president of Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, told Capital New York.

“It’s like a public subsidy with no public responsibility, no obligation to the public,” he said. “Responsible development means good jobs, and creating good jobs and offering opportunities for people.”

Under the current plan, Hudson Companies, led by David Kramer, will buy public land at the 280 Cadman Plaza West site for $52 million. The company will rebuild the library, and erect a 36-story condo tower at the site.

It will also build an interim library, and two affordable housing buildings, at 907 Atlantic Avenue and 1043 Fulton Street, for which it filed plans earlier this month.

The New York City Planning Commission will vote on the plan Monday. It has the support of the de Blasio administration and the local community board, and is likely to be approved, Politico reported. [Politico]Ariel Stulberg