Brooklyn Hospital, the Fort Greene medical center that has, until recently, been mired in bankruptcy, may get at least its financial health back by selling its parking lot to a private developer.
“It’s actually part of our restructuring and bankruptcy plan,” said hospital spokesman Bob Cooper. “There are some ideas for that parking lot. But there’s nothing concrete.”
Even so, the news — and the sight of surveyors measuring the parking lot at the corner of Ashland Place and DeKalb Avenue over the past week — has prompted concern from some and resignation from others.
“That’s the way things are going here,” sighed Ursula Hegewisch, the chair of the Fort Greene Association. “The land is obviously very valuable, and it will most likely be a very tall building. We will obviously have a corridor of high rises, and I don’t know that there’s a whole lot that we can do about it.”
Hegewisch was referring to a widely supported rezoning earlier this year which allows for taller buildings on commercial strips like DeKalb Avenue, while restricting building heights on more residential blocks.
The parking lot is in a prime spot for developers — just three blocks from the DeKalb Avenue subway stop and just two blocks from the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
“It’s a good location — my gosh,” said Roslyn Huebener, of Aguayo and Huebener Realty. “If someone builds on it, he could probably build parking beneath, and it could be a win-win situation for the hospital.”
Financially, sure. But community sentiment is another story.
If she had her druthers, Hegewisch would extend the brownstone row and storefront retail that defines the rest of DeKalb Avenue as it wends its way eastward toward Pratt Institute.
And local Councilwoman Letitia James (D–Fort Greene) would, as usual, like to see some affordable housing and contextual development — something she’s been making clear to the hospital’s president, with whom she’s spoken “several times.”
“He understands my concerns,” said James.