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Cobble Hillers approve redesigned ‘wall’ outside tower on old LICH campus - Brooklyn Paper

Cobble Hillers approve redesigned ‘wall’ outside tower on old LICH campus

No more wall: Developer Fortis Property Group amended its proposal to build a 6-foot steel fence along Amity Street after locals panned its original plan for a nine-foot brick wall.
Romines Architecture

The developer that locals bashed for proposing to build a brick wall blocking off one of the swanky towers in its seven-structure complex going up on Cobble Hill’s old Long Island College Hospital campus now wants to put a steel fence around the property, according to a rep.

Swapping brick for steel will go a long way to soothe those locals who told builder Fortis Property Group to go back to the drawing board with its wall they called exclusive, according to a spokesman representing the real-estate firm at a Nov. 29 meeting of Community Board 6’s Land Use and Landmarks Committee.

“It’s sympathetic to the historic district, and addresses many of the community concerns that were raised in the last meeting,” said Thomas McMahon.

Last month, pols and committee members slammed the developer after its architect Douglas Romines unveiled renderings for the nine-foot-high barrier along roughly 50 feet of Amity Street sidewalk between Henry and Clinton streets, which would have prevented onlookers from peeking into the private swimming-pool and garden of the 15-story condo tower on Henry Street between Pacific and Amity Streets that is part of Fortis’s so-called River Park complex.

Following the backlash, the builder withdrew its plans, which the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission must sign off on since the tower sits within the protected Cobble Hill Historic District.

And roughly one month later, Romines returned to the committee with a new scheme that proposes erecting an evergreen hedge between two steel fences — a roughly three-foot one in front, and a six foot one in back — along a smaller stretch of Amity Street outside its property.

The committee unanimously approved the amended proposal, but that vote was merely a recommendation because the board did not have enough members present to make a motion, according to CB6 District Manager Mike Racioppo.

The panel will again cast a vote, which is purely advisory, at its Dec. 12 board meeting, which the public is welcome to attend and make comments.

The 15-story Henry Street tower — dubbed 5 River Park — is the first new-construction high-rise to go up as part of River Park, which Fortis is building under existing zoning law after abandoning an attempt to upzone the site to make way for an even larger development with below-market-rate units in 2016.

Community Board 6 meeting at the Cobble Hill Health Center (380 Henry St. between Congress and Warren streets in Cobble Hill) Dec. 12 at 6:30 pm.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.

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