City Council greenlights Brooklyn Heights library project

The new plan calls for a 26,620 sf library on the ground floor

<em>Rendering of 280 Cadman Plaza West in Brooklyn Heights (inset: David Kramer)</em>
Rendering of 280 Cadman Plaza West in Brooklyn Heights (inset: David Kramer)

The City Council on Wednesday approved the Hudson Companies’ proposal to redevelop the Brooklyn Heights library branch, a controversial plan that includes a 36-story condo tower.

Under the latest version of the plan, Hudson Companies will buy and tear down the library’s current building — at 280 Cadman Plaza — and will build a residential tower with a new library and retail space on the ground floor, Brownstoner reported. At 26,620 square feet, the new library space with be 24 percent bigger than previously proposed. The latest version of the plan also calls for an additional 5,000-square-foot library, which would be used by Dumbo and Vinegar Hill. Earlier this month, Councilman Steve Levin said he supported the development, on the condition that the library space be expanded and that the developers add anther library.

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The council’s vote follows the unanimous approval of the plan by the City Planning Commission last month. Those who oppose the project argue that selling off the library’s land — to the tune of $52 million — might not be the best way for the library to address its $300 million deficit. Union representatives have also criticized the deal for not requiring Hudson to use union labor when it develops the site.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has five days to review the plan. [Brownstoner]Kathryn Brenzel