A historic Cobble Hill mansion dumped by the cash-strapped Long Island College Hospital is heading towards a controversial redevelopment as luxury housing.
The landmarked Lamm Institute building and three adjacent lots at Amity and Henry streets sold to a trio of investors for $6 million, according to broker Eric Anton, and the new owners intend to transform it into three luxury units, Cobble Hill blog reported.
The Lamm building was built in 1902 as a nurses residence and last used as a child neurology clinic. This is the second time the grand property has changed hands in the last decade.
In 2007, LICH sold the mansion and the land for $6.1 to Manhattan-based Time Equities. The company planned to convert the French Renaissance mansion into eight apartments and construct six, single-family townhouses on a controversial gated mews, irking residents who dubbed the plan the “Amity Street Horror” because it was architecturally inconsistent with the historic district.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission agreed, arguing specifically that the mews concept and gated compound conflicted with the historic district.
The property went back on the market in November, the same month Landmarks that approved a smaller plan for a seven-unit luxury development in the Lamm building and three new three-story townhomes on the adjoining parcels.
That ruling left area activists on alert.
“It is a very significant landmark in the community and we are very concerned about its preservation,” said Roy Sloane, president of the Cobble Hill Association, a civic group.
Since the property is landmarked, any additional changes to its exterior will require city approval.
The cash-poor hospital sold off the properties in an effort to better meet the institution’s “operational needs,” spokeswoman Zippi Dvash said.
The disposition was part of a wave of belt-tightening maneuvers, including job cuts and a scheme that would have shuttered its maternity, dentistry and pediatrics divisions.
But debt continued to mount, so much so that the hospital was faced with imminent closure last week if it did not receive $62 million in state grants to offset its $170 million in debt. The grant money did come through, and a merger with SUNY Downstate appears to be back on.