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Brouhaha in Brooklyn Heights

Matthew Hall in Co-op/Condo Buyers on December 3, 2015

Brooklyn Heights

75 Henry Street

75 Henry Street

Dec. 3, 2015

Whitman Owners Corporation, the corporation that owns 75 Henry Street and the neighboring buildings on Pineapple Walk, sent shareholders a letter, suggesting that they are being offered in excess of $75 million from developers as an incentive to approve the demolition and new construction.
 
“Preliminary indications are that shareholders could receive in excess of $4,000 per share,” the board outlines in the letter.
 
In real terms, this means a studio apartment in the building may receive a $120,000 payment in exchange for a "yes" vote if the project is approved. A three-bedroom unit with 65 shares could receive in excess of $260,000. Any shareholder with multiple units in the building could receive in excess of $500,000 for agreeing to the project.
 
The letter also highlights expected community opposition to the development, which would see the proposed high-rise condo wedged between 75 Henry Street and next-door Cadman Towers, a 31-story Mitchell-Lama co-op consisting of 421 units across two buildings. 75 Henry Street and Cadman Towers share a property line on Pineapple Walk.
Residents of Cadman Towers have expressed concern over the proposal, with fears about what the impact of a high-rise, high-density, residential building might be on local services, including schools and hospitals.
 
“We are very concerned about the impact this proposed development will have, not on just our property, but the community,” said Toba Potosky, board president of Cadman Towers. “A 40-story tower would cast a permanent shadow on Cadman Towers. We already have a shortage of school space. They recently closed Long Island College Hospital.”
The nearby Long Island College Hospital site is set to be developed for residential condominiums. Postosky highlighted similar projects in the area, including developments at Pier 6. “We hope our neighbors vote no to this offer,” Potosky said. “That will hold off development for a few more years.”
 
Doug Wexler, board president at Whitman Owners, said he was unable to name the company that had proposed the development, and could not comment on the letter sent to shareholders.
 
“The policy for all of us is no comment,” he said.
 
Shareholders at 75 Henry Street will vote on whether the board should consider the offer on January 15.

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