De Blasio intervenes in LICH redevelopment debate

City Hall hosted Dec. meeting between Fortis, community group and local pols
January 06, 2016 04:00PM

UPDATED, 6:25 p.m., Jan. 7: Mayor Bill de Blasio is intervening in the battle over the future of the Long Island College Hospital site in Cobble Hill, sending top aides into negotiations with local politicians, community organizations and developer Fortis Property Group.

The de Blasio administration hosted a City Hall meeting a few days before Christmas to work out a compromise over the site. The mayor previously voiced a preference for letting Fortis rezone the property, which it owns, enabling the construction of community amenities and low-to-middle income apartments.

Fortis would build only luxury condos on the site if it is unable to receive the rezoning, which requires City Council approval, according to Politico. De Blasio represented the Cobble Hill neighborhood during his time in the City Council and even visited the hospital as a mayoral candidate to protest its closing.

Among those present at the City Hall meeting were Fortis executives Joel Kestenbaum and Terrence Storey, as well as administration officials Michael DeLoach and Peter Wertheim and three members of the Cobble Hill Association, the community group that has consistently spoken out against Fortis’ plans for a luxury condo tower.

Council member Brad Lander, New York State Senator Daniel Squadron and State Assembly member Jo Anne Simon were also in attendance, and Lander said Fortis “indicated an openness to talking about an alternative [at the site] that was less massively dense.” [Politico]Rey Mashayekhi

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly identified the Long Island College Hospital site as located in Queens. The property is located in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Cobble Hill.