This rehab clinic didn’t come clean, say Red Hookers.
The people behind Brooklyn’s answer to the Betty Ford Center started building their swanky sobriety facility in the neighborhood last month — around the corner from where they told neighbors it would be. Now residents are fuming that they weren’t consulted about the already-controversial facility’s change of location, according to one local leader.
“The fact that there was apparent and blatant dishonesty is extremely aggravating and distressing to the community at large,” said John McGettrick, chair of neighborhood civic group the Red Hook Civic Association.
In 2014, the Hook Recovery Center honchos Michael Mosberg — husband to “Girls” star Jemima Kirk, whom he met in rehab — and his business partner Johan Sorensen presented the community with their plans for a drug and alcohol recovery center, then called the Urban Recovery House, at 110 Beard St. between Richards and Van Brunt streets.
Neighbors were wary then, remembering the many methadone clinics the neighborhood has housed in the past, but Community Board 6 nevertheless approved their application for the $50,000-per-stay get-clean complex — under the condition that the center create a community advisory group before it opens.
Borough Park developer Abraham Leser filed plans in December last year to build a five story, 19-room “hotel and ambulatory diagnostic health treatment center” around the corner at 411 Van Brunt St., but news organizations — including this one — didn’t put two and two together, reporting that Leser was building a hotel there after he declined to give any specifics.
Leser owns both the Beard and Van Brunt street sites, according to city records, although the rehab center appears to be limited to the single new lot.
Locals say they only learned the “hotel” and upscale clinic were one and the same when construction began last month, and the switcheroo came as an unpleasant surprise after years of silence.
“It all came as a shock to us because in the last two years we hadn’t heard anything,” said long-time Red Hooker Carol De Bock.
The community board’s district manager says the developer and rehab moguls probably should have given the community a heads-up before building, but thinks they did their due diligence by hosting meetings and going before the local panel with their plans.
“The term ‘misled’ is a little upsetting because I don’t know how people think they were misled,” said Community Board 6 district manager Craig Hammerman. “There were meetings, facts, contacts, relationships formed. The only criticism I would put out there is the sponsor should have re-engaged the community when they activated the site.”
Hammerman said wasn’t aware of the owners making any moves to start the advisory council yet, although the center isn’t scheduled to open until 2017.
The Hook Recovery Center did not return requests for comment.