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Brooklyn to get its own Flatiron building on library site

A new tower on Cadman Plaza West in Brooklyn Heights looks very much like the Flatiron buildingMarvel Architects

A new tower on Cadman Plaza West in Brooklyn Heights looks very much like the Flatiron building

They’re still ironing out the details.

A developer has unveiled provisional designs for a brand new skyscraper that will replace the decrepit old public library at 280 Cadman Plaza West in Brooklyn Heights – and the results look pretty familiar.

The 36-story tower, which will have 139 condo units, community space, retail and a new 21,500-square-foot library on the ground floor, looks like it will be Brooklyn’s very own alternative to the Flatiron building, with its dramatic wedge-shaped structure.

“Our feeling was that this was a very high-profile location and it was our responsibility to do something special here,” said David Kramer, CEO of Hudson Companies, the building’s developer. ‘This will look great as you come off the Brooklyn Bridge. These will be the best condominiums in Brooklyn.”

It’s certainly a new chapter for the Brooklyn Heights Library, which agreed to sell the site to Hudson for $ 52 million with the promise of 114 affordable units at two different sites in the neighborhood and a brand new state-of-the-art library on site.

The tower will also have retail and community spaceMarvel Architects

The tower will also have retail and community space

A new tower on Cadman Plaza West in Brooklyn HeightsMarvel Architects

A new tower on Cadman Plaza West in Brooklyn Heights

A new tower on Cadman Plaza West in Brooklyn HeightsMarvel Architects

A new tower on Cadman Plaza West in Brooklyn Heights

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The project, which entered the city’s land use review process on Monday, was designed by Marvel Architects.

“The existing building is woefully inadequate,” said library president Linda Johnson of the existing Cadman Plaza facility. “It’s suffered a lot of body blows, the HVAC system is beyond its useful life and it would cost millions to fix up everything. Spending good money on that facility just wouldn’t have made any sense.”

The new library will be a flagship for northwest Brooklyn, offering new collections, technology, and extensive programs, a spokeswoman said.

Library officials hope that the cash infusion will also put a dent in the $ 300 million they need for repairs across 60 branches. Four branches, including the Walt Whitman Library on St. Edwards St., have already been selected to recieve some of the funds.

A rendering of the new libraryMarvel Architects

A rendering of the new library

The building’s community space was originally slated to be purchased by St. Ann’s School, which would have used it as a gynasium, but the school has since backed out of the deal, citing the high costs of building out the space, a spokesperson for Hudson said.

The land use process is expected to be a relatively contentious one, with local advocacy groups such as Citizens Defending Libraries already stating their opposition to the sale and redevelopment of the site.

“Not only is the shrinking of the library a mistake, it’s a mistake to put it at the bottom of a residential building, since it won’t be able to grow with the neighborhood,” said Michael White, co-founder of the group.

But Johnson says the deal is just a smart financial decision for libraries across the city.

“If we want our kids to have the same sentimental feeling about the library that we had when we were kids, then the library has to evolve,” she said. “This is an exciting development and I’m excited that the library will be at the center of it.”

Lifestyle – NY Daily News

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