The proposal to sell the existing Brooklyn Heights Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library to developer Hudson Companies, who would build a high rise residential and commercial building, with a new library sited in its ground floor and basement, appeared to be sailing to completion when it was approved by the City Council subject to conditions negotiated by City Council Member Steve Levin. However, as the Eagle reports, the deal faces one more obstacle before it can go forward, and that is approval by the Brooklyn Borough Board.
The Board consists of Borough President Eric Adams (photo), who previously disapproved the deal with conditions, along with all City Council members from Brooklyn, and all chairs of Brooklyn community boards. As noted above, Steve Levin, the City Council member from the district in which the library is sited, approved the deal after negotiating conditions. Community Board 2, which includes the library site, also approved the deal with conditions which conditions had earlier been set by CB 2’s Land Use Committee. It would be expected that the full Board would go along with the recommendations of the local City Council Member and Community Board, but the Borough President has intervened.
The question of the library deal was scheduled on the Board’s agenda for today, but according to the Eagle story, B.P. Adams removed it after his counsel met with representatives of a group called Love Brooklyn Libraries last Thursday. LBL claims to have evidence that Brooklyn Public Library has misrepresented its financial position in order to justify sale of the Brooklyn Heights Branch, and has filed a complaint letter with State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The Eagle story quotes a spokesperson for the Borough President justifying the postponment: “Borough Hall needed additional time to review the proposal.”