The New York Times published a look at the Brooklyn Heights library proposal this weekend:
NYT: But these latest plans for Brooklyn have merit, insofar as City Hall wants to keep leaning on real estate to help pay for basic public services, a policy whose logic, as Donnell proved, can also seem to evaporate when the market shifts.
In Brooklyn Heights, the issue is a dilapidated, low-rise, 62,000-square-foot building on a prime lot at Cadman Plaza, combining a neighborhood branch and a somewhat orphaned business library. It would make way for a 38-story tower with 132 market-rate apartments. The tower’s designer is Jonathan Marvel, the New York architect. A new 21,000-square-foot storefront library would occupy the building’s ground floor. Library officials say much of the existing branch is unused and that moving the business collection to the main library at Grand Army Plaza rationalizes Brooklyn’s holdings. More to the point, they insist the new library will be an upgrade, with stacked auditoriums, a lower-level reading room and a mezzanine that could serve as a children’s wing.
Hudson Companies, the developer, is promising affordable units offsite, a red flag. But offsite development allows for more subsidized units — 114 — than would have been possible at Cadman Plaza, if the library still hoped to make real money. As is, the library pockets $51 million. That’s enough to outfit the new Brooklyn Heights branch; fix the one near Atlantic Yards, called the Pacific branch; and repair two others, Walt Whitman near the Navy Yard, and Washington Irving in Bushwick, leaving millions more for additional projects.
To give you some perspective on $51 million dollars consider this: Beyoncé made a reported $115 million dollars in 2014.