Appellate Court Denies Motion to Enjoin Brooklyn Heights Library Redevelopment
By: Jonathan Kalmuss-Katz
On March 7, 2017, the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division, Second Department, denied a motion to enjoin the redevelopment of the Brooklyn Public Library’s (“BPL”) Brooklyn Heights branch, which will provide a modernized library within a new 36-story, mixed-used building featuring 134 market-rate apartments, two retail spaces, and a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics lab. The developer will also construct 114 affordable apartments in the Clinton Hill neighborhood and a new branch library serving DUMBO and Vinegar Hill as part of the project, and the sale of the existing library building will generate approximately $40 million to repair other BPL branches throughout the borough. Sive, Paget & Riesel, P.C. represented Cadman Associates LLC – an affiliate of The Hudson Companies that is developing the project – in opposition to the motion, as well as in earlier litigation defending the project’s environmental review.
As previously reported, last July a New York State Supreme Court Justice dismissed a petition challenging the project, ruling that the petition was not timely served and that the project’s environmental review fully complied with the requirements of the State Environmental Quality Review Act (“SEQRA”). The petitioners appealed from that decision, and they sought a temporary restraining order (“TRO”) and a preliminary injunction prohibiting demolition of the existing library building pending the appeal. The TRO was denied on February 23, 2016 and the preliminary injunction was denied this week. Demolition of the existing library is scheduled to begin later this month.