Fortis scraps affordable housing plans for LICH

The developer will move forward with its as-of-right project

Jonathan Landau and Long Island College Hospital
Jonathan Landau and Long Island College Hospital

After several months of uncertainty and failed negotiations with the city, it looks like Fortis Property Group’s Long Island College Hospital development won’t include affordable housing after all.

The company’s president, Joel Kestenbaum, told Politico that Fortis has decided to move forward with an as-of right redevelopment at the Cobble Hill site, saying that the option was more “profitable” than one that would have included affordable housing units. He hasn’t provided specific plans, but previously revealed plans for an as-of-right development including 528,935 square feet of market-rate apartments. The affordable option included 900,000 square feet of luxury housing and 225,000 square feet of affordable housing.

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The decision is a blow to Mayor Bill de Blasio, who supported the affordable housing version after vehemently opposing the hospital’s closure. The affordable housing option would have required a rezoning, which was opposed by Councilman Brad Lander and other community officials.

During a recent interview with The Real Deal, Fortis CEO Jonathan Landau said the project was financially feasible without the upzoning but said the company was a few months off from making a final determination. Fortis [TRDataCustom] purchased the hospital in 2015 for $240 million. [Politico] — Kathryn Brenzel