The Real Deal New York

The condos are coming: Fortis testing the market for 173 units at LICH site

AG filings follow developers'plans to skip out on a rezoning
By Will Parker | March 23, 2017 11:40AM

From left: Joel Kestenbaum, a rendering for the Long Island College Hospital redevelopment in Cobble Hill and Jonathan Landau (Credit: CityRealty and Larry Ford)

Fortis Property Group TRData LogoTINY is testing the market for condominiums in three planned buildings at the former Long Island College Hospital site in Cobble Hill, according to filings with the New York State Attorney General’s Office. In November, Fortis announced it would construct towers in the brownstone Brooklyn neighborhood without a rezoning that would have allowed the developer to build twice as much housing, including some affordable units.

The “test the market” applications, which do not constitute true sales offerings, include 99 condos at 91 Pacific Street (339 Hicks Street), 48 condos at 350 Hicks Street and 26 condos at 349 Henry Street.

Fortis filed construction plans for all three buildings in December, and the proposed unit counts in this month’s condo applications closely resemble those plans. 91 Pacific Street (also 339 Hicks Street) was filed with 110 units, 350 Hicks Street with 46 and 349 Henry Street (also 347 Henry Street) with 30, so it appears that all or nearly all of the apartments in the buildings will be condos.

The AG approved a 17-unit offering plan at 100 Amity Street in November, where Fortis is targeting a $67.4 million sellout.

When completed, the redevelopment will bring 528,935 square feet of market-rate housing to Cobble Hill. Under a recently scrapped alternative plan that would have required a rezoning, the company could have built 900,000 square feet of luxury real estate, but with a bonus 225,000 square feet for affordable apartments, the loss of which Mayor Bill de Blasio described as a “missed opportunity.”

Along with the affordable housing component, the project is also losing its name. Fortis recently announced it would rebrand the buildings to something more suitable for condo sales, shedding the old hospital moniker for the more bucolic-sounding “River Park.”

Jonathan Landau, Fortis’ CEO, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Fortis made its largest-ever New York City investment when it bought the hospital site for $240 million in 2015. Last year, The Real Deal offered an in-depth look at the company and the past lives of its two principals, Jonathan Landau and Joel Kestenbaum.

Residents in Cobble Hill for years have spoken out against high-rise development in the low-scale residential neighborhood. In February, area residents complained to the Brooklyn Paper of being “shaken awake” by 5 a.m. demolitions that were allegedly in violation of city law.