De Blasio bemoans Fortis’ plans for LICH site

Mayor said developer's move to not seek rezoning is a missed opportunity

From left: Jonathan Landau, Long Island College Hospital and Bill de Blasio
From left: Jonathan Landau, Long Island College Hospital and Bill de Blasio

Mayor Bill de Blasio isn’t happy that Fortis Property Group scrapped affordable housing from its Long Island College Hospital project, saying those involved in the discussions “missed an opportunity to get it right.”

The mayor criticized “everyone who was involved” in the deal and lamented that a rezoning would have allowed for a smarter approach to development, Politico reported. The developer announced last week that it would instead move forward with an as-of right project, rather than pursue a rezoning that would have included affordable housing.

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The rezoning didn’t have the crucial support of City Council member Brad Lander, who opposed that option because it would have doubled the density allowed on the site. Lander told Politico that he would consider filing a lawsuit if Fortis [TRDataCustom] moved forward with a condo project on the site.

De Blasio, who vehemently opposed the hospital’s closing before taking office, helped broker a deal with the state to sell the property but to keep a medical facility on the site — just not necessarily a full-service hospital. Fortis purchased the site in 2015 for $240 million. The developer has not yet released full plans for the site.

This month, The Real Deal took a closer look at the principals and origins of Fortis, which has been become increasingly active in the city. [Politico] — Kathryn Brenzel