The nearly three decades-long redevelopment of Greenpoint Hospital may finally be reaching its conclusion.
On September 19th, Great American Construction, who had been awarded development rights for the final two of seven buildings, withdrew from the project in the wake of bribery charges against its vice president, William Clarke.
Nearly immediately, the Greenpoint Renaissance Enterprise Corporation (GREC), who developed the first five Greenpoint Hospital buildings, demanded that the City’s Department of Housing, Preservation and Development (HPD) give them the development rights that they always believed should have been theirs.
“We submitted a much stronger proposal to HPD,” said GREC spokesman David Dobosz. “After many setbacks and years of delays, Mayor Bloomberg should do the right thing and support our plan.” When originally submitted, the GREC proposal had the backing of a community coalition of more than 40 local groups and their affordable housing proposal for the site was supported unanimously by Community Board 1.
Now, the neighborhood non-profit is getting some renewed support from three of North Brooklyn’s most venerable elected officials. In a joint statement, released on Wednesday, October 3rd, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Assemblyman Joe Lentol and Councilmember Diana Reyna, called on the City to “decertify Great American Construction immediately, and support the community-based plan for the Greenpoint Hospital site that was submitted to the city by [GREC].”
The three officials cited several factors for backing GREC, including their broad community support and past experience redeveloping the hospital and building affordable housing for the community. They also noted GREC’s financial ability, adding that their nonprofit development partner will commit $1 million of the ‘developer fee’ to build additional community facilities and refurbish Cooper Park. “It’s time for the city to the right thing and allow this plan to be implemented,” concluded the joint statement.
“The easiest and most reasonable course of action now is for HPD to allow us to finish the project,” said Dobosz. “HPD should have never awarded Great American a contract for the final phase of the Greenpoint Hospital redevelopment [through a 2007 RFP process]. Great American’s proposal was severely flawed…But HPD awarded the contract after illegally coaching them on how to revise their proposal.”
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