Here Are The Proposals for the Planned Redevelopment of the Brooklyn Heights Library

The Brooklyn Public Library has received seven responses to its Request For Proposals to construct a new Brooklyn Heights Branch Library, to be incorporated in a larger commercial or residential structure.

Most of the proposals would provide 20,000 square feet of library space; Proposal A’s library would have 31,192 square feet, and Proposal E’s 30,000. The proposed buildings range in height from as much as 551 feet (Proposal F, which has a possible alternative height of 455 feet, still taller than any other proposal) to a minimum of 285 feet (Proposal A).

The proposals vary in how they will make space available for an interim library during demolition and construction. Proposal A offers to make funds available for relocation; Proposal C says it will lease space at a local church (not specified); Proposal F says it will lease nearby retail space; the others all say they will identify an option before the required Uniform Land Use review, although Proposal D also includes “on site” as a possible option. Proposals B, C, D, E, and G include retail space. Proposals A and E include rooftop parks accessible to the public, while Proposals C and F provide public plazas. All make some allowance for affordable housing, either on site (Proposals B, C, D, E, and F) or at another location (Proposals A and G). Proposals C, D, and E would preserve the bas reliefs from the existing library building’s facade.

Addendum: The identities of the developers submitting the proposals have not been made public, but the Wall Street Journal reports that Forest City Ratner is not one of them.

CAC RFP Briefing -Brooklyn Heights Library

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  • marshasrimler

    This is a real estate deal pure and simple. It is brought to us by a Bloomberg dominated Board of the BPL.In typical slumlord fashion the building was allowed to detiorate. it is now sold to us as a public project.Baloney.. It is a real-estate give away and a grab of a valuable site. The BPL has not raised one dollar to fix the AC while the public sweated through two summers . The BPL
    has allowed this to happen as is now crying poverty.
    They all need to go. the EXECS and the BOARD. They are not competent to run an organization for the public.
    Bloomberg poodles Anthony Crowell Board Chair (the mayors former lawyer) and Jordon Barowitz (the Mayors former Press secretary and Current Durst Organization VP who chairs The BPL nominating Committee and exec. Comm member seem to run the show. EDC Head Kyle Kimbell sits on this Board and Anthony Crowell BPL President sits on his Board
    Cozy. Others on the Board who I will not name also owe their jobs to Mayor Mike. But wait we just had an election and the Mayors vision was rejected.
    Public assets should not be given away by bureaucrats like Josh Nackowitz VP at BPL formerly of EDC. This Group needs to be fired after 1/1/14.
    Write to Mayor-elect DeBlasio and tell him we can do this -FIX OUR LIBRARY without this nonsense. Ask him and Borough President -elect Eric Adams to appoint real people to the Library Board not 1%ers
    who never use the service anyway.

  • Jazz

    GET OVER IT … GET OVER IT… GET OVER IT.

  • marshasrimler

    Gee thats a well thought out statement with lots of information that adds to the discussion

  • Jazz

    It’s a far more progressive stance than yours, honey.

  • marshasrimler

    I will not respond further ..to your well thought out comments. dear

  • gatornyc

    Let me get this straight. As proposed, (1) the public will get a brand new, larger library, (2) the public will not be deprived of a library during construction as the developer will be required to pay for temporary space during construction, (3) and the BPL will make a ton of money that will be used to support the library system as a whole. And this is a bad deal?!

    The millions of dollars necessary to simply maintain this tired, old location aren’t coming. But a brand new, up to date library can be reality.

    No one is giving away a public asset. A public asset is being utilized to the betterment of all. You are right about one thing: this is a valuable site. And its value should be maximized by putting it to its most beneficial use. Or should the BPL just sit on the valuable space for years and pour money into the space, which it doesn’t have?

    This is exactly what the BPL should be doing. Or should we just raise taxes instead?

  • Jazz

    Thank heaven for small miracles.

  • Lois

    AGREE!

  • marshasrimler

    One a public asset is given way it is gone forever.. after this one shot how many more libraries will the Real estate industry oops… BPL Board take? During testimony Linda Johnson stated no other sales other than this and Pacific St. are planned AT THIS TIME.

  • gatornyc

    The public asset is the library, not the land it sits upon. And since the BPL will continue to own the library it is not being given away. What is the use to the BPL to sit on such a valuable piece of property? Maximize its value for the benefit of the entire system.

    Otherwise propose another feasible source of funding.

  • Reggie

    This is>/i> a real estate deal, although hardly pure or simple. The “slumlord” accusation would resonate more if BPL had taken care of other branch libraries and allowed just Brooklyn Heights to rot. However, deferred maintenance is a system-wide problem. The proposed deal unlocks some of the value from the site for use elsewhere, while getting a new branch here in the process. The only way I can think of for the library to realize more value from this property is if it constructed a rental building itself, something BPL lacks the capital or expertise to do, from which it could then receive income in perpetuity.

  • Reggie

    Please pardon the hamfisted use of html.

  • marshasrimler

    Many of the branches are lovely. Park Slope, Midwood etc. not all of them are rooting away on purpose. Funding solutions other the the sell-off have not been considered by the. BPL but have discussed with several electeds. I cannot get into specifics and am on my way out for the evening.. Bye

  • MonroeOrange

    no need to get nasty!

  • Reggie

    Have an enjoyable evening. I look forward to learn more about the alternate funding solutions when you get the chance.

  • C.

    C. All the way C.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlsiLOnWCoI Arch Stanton

    And the winner is…. the developer who delivers the thickest envelopes full of cash.

  • Andrew Porter

    As I pointed out in my comment (#25) on the Curbed article, all the renderings manage to show the proposed building surrounded by other ginormous buildings, without any note that it would be right across the street from the BH Landmarked District, with its 50 foot height limit. Also, the building would cast an enormous afternoon shadow over the play areas in Columbus Park across the street.

  • marshasrimler

    Everyone asks how to fund the library re-build without the development . Its really not that complicated. Tell the Industrial Development agency to halt the outrageous tax breaks it gives to developers. Yesterday this division of EDC.. the agency that is selling off our libraries gave 120 Million in tax breaks to Hudson Yards and Willets Point Developers. Give the tax break of 10M or more to the developer who rebuilds OUR LIBRARY. Not to the developers who want the site and the BPL which is complicit in this scheme. Get a New BPL exec and Board that believe in PUBLIC LIBRARIES NOT PRIVATE PROFIT (stolen from the public)

  • Carlotta

    The BPL is going ahead with this process regardless of any input from 16,000 citizens, who so far have signed a petition to stop it. The attitude of the presenters of the proposal for gigantic new housing is to say that they are being transparent by showing the proposed plans with renderings that have no relation to what will eventually be built or what the library will look like. Their solution to the funding problem has been – we have decided that it is our way-period. If there are any other avenues to save this library – which Ms. Rimmler has alluded to – they have not pursued them. She has also indicated that once the library is sold the money will go to the city and it will be able to use the money as the powers that be determine – not necessarily for the other libraries in Brooklyn. If that is so, then this is the biggest scam yet – except maybe for the Atlantic Yards – perpetrated on the citizens of Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Heights Branch Library needs more than air conditioning and we all are aware of that. We need to renovate it, not tear it down.

  • marshasrimler

    Please note that the Brooklyn Branch of the NAAC
    has taken
    a position against library sell-offs in general and the relocation of the Brooklyn Business Library which has a large percentage of African American users

  • Roberto

    Perhaps it is a good idea to reconstitute the Board of the BPL since the complaints about transparency. have been so numerous. The effort to break up services and staff at the Brooklyn Heights branch
    should be started da capo under the new de Blasio regime.

  • marshasrimler

    done .. read on

  • marshasrimler

    done .. read one

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlsiLOnWCoI Arch Stanton

    What if the Hudson Yards and Willets Point Developments did not happen, without the tax breaks?

  • marshasrimler

    what if they did

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlsiLOnWCoI Arch Stanton

    You didn’t answer the question. Answering a question with a question is a poor debate tactic. However, I’ll rephrase my original question:
    Is it your position that industrial development should be sacrificed for funding the library?

  • marshasrimler

    ok.. i believe in spurring development on.. but in moderation.. shave 10-30 per cent off the amount and make the the libraries rebuild an infrastructure and economic development project. Our library here has lots of economic development potential -I have discussed specifics with several elected officials

  • gatornyc

    Not done. Many off the “tax breaks” given to developers are in return for the development of affordable housing. You cut the incentive, you lose the affordable housing.

    Even if cut, there is no mechanism for the taxes paid (which are still down the road) to automatically go to the libraries and there are many worthwhile uses for any additional tax revenue in addition to libraries.

    Point is whether you like or not, selling the land and having the developer pay for the library is exactly what you suggested doing above (i.e., “Give the tax break of 10M or more to the developer who rebuilds OUR LIBRARY”). The land gets sold to the developer who in return rebuilds our library and a ton of money goes into the library system for repairs, maintenance, and improvements system wide.

  • marshasrimler

    Not really this way we maintain a public asset not give it away