Steel of approval: City okays plan to put steel-iron fence outside Cobble Hill tower on old LICH site

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

City preservationists green-lit a developer’s proposal to build a fence separating the swanky tower it is building on part of Cobble Hill’s old Long Island College Hospital campus from passersby on Amity Street.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission’s Jan. 15 approval of builder Fortis Property Group’s request came weeks after members of Community Board 6 approved the plan, which calls for planting an evergreen hedge between two fences — a six-foot railing in back, and a three-foot barrier in front — along part of Amity Street between Clinton and Henry streets.

The plant-and-pole barricade will separate less than 50 feet of sidewalk from the private swimming pool and garden Fortis bigwigs plan to build outside their 15-story Henry Street tower dubbed 5 River Park, which is the first of seven buildings rising as part of the builder’s controversial redevelopment of the old hospital site.

But the developer must build its shorter, front fence with wrought iron — not the steel it initially suggested creating both barriers with.

And it must routinely maintain the hedge between the fencing, and ensure its construction does not sully the architecture and character of the neighborhood, according to a rep for the Landmarks Commission, which formally weighed in on the plans because the tower sits within the protected Cobble Hill Historic District.

Fortis proposed erecting the fence after pols and locals on CB6 in October panned its original plan to construct a nine-foot wall along that same stretch of Amity Street — a structure some residents blasted as exclusionary because it would have starkly cordoned off the condo-filled high-rise’s luxe outdoor spaces from passersby.

CB6 members, however, unanimously approved the scheme in December after the builder swapped wall for fence, on conditions including that the railing’s highest point rise no taller than six feet and the evergreen hedge be maintained in perpetuity.

Sales at the Henry Street condo tower — which, along with the rest of the seven-building River Park complex, is going up under existing zoning law after Fortis in 2016 abandoned an attempt to upzone the larger development site bounded by Atlantic Avenue and Hicks, Columbia, and Pacific streets — launched last fall.

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

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