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Bellhop checkup: Hotel union getting flashy healthcare center on Fulton

The Brooklyn Paper
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This futuristic high-rise building on Fulton Street is just what the doctor ordered, according to the hotel workers union building it.

The New York Hotel Trades Council and Hotel Association of New York City is planning a 12-story structure where a parking lot currently sits, between Ashland Place and Saint Felix Street. The building is supposed to include ground-floor retail, a five-story health facility for members of the union, and office space. It may not be overtly artsy on the inside but its architect, who released designs for the building last week, said that the shiny, teardrop-shaped edifice will fit right in amid the so-called “Brooklyn Cultural District” along Fulton Street, which this paper has dubbed Brooklyn’s Great White Way.

“We want the new building to welcome patients, office workers, and local residents alike to this up-and-coming district,” said James Crispino, president of the design firm Francis Cauffman.

The union runs three other medical centers in the city and they, together with a smaller Brooklyn outpost that the new building will replace, served 50,000 people last year, it said. The organization provides members medical coverage through its own network of healthcare facilities, offering an alternative to typical health insurance, and the new facility will improve that, a honcho said.

“Above all, we want our members to enjoy an unmatched healthcare experience,” Robert Greenspan, executive director of the union’s healthcare services.

An unnamed tenant has committed to taking more than half of the rentable office space but has not yet signed a lease, the union said. A real estate expert noted that such a thing hasn’t happened in Fort Greene or Downtown since MetroTech Center was being built.

“To get a pre-construction commitment is huge,” said Chris Havens, a commercial broker for aptsandlofts.com. “People looking to Brooklyn don’t usually think that far in advance.”

The union has not announced who the tenant will be, but Havens suspects it may have something to do with healthcare.

Reach reporter Matthew Perlman at (718) 260–8310. E-mail him at mperlman@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @matthewjperlman.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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