After many years of deliberating, the city selected the Queens-based developer TNS Development Group to build the below-market-rate units in the long-closed medical center and on an adjacent city-owned lot on Maspeth Avenue near Kingsland Avenue.
Housing and Preservation Development Commissioner Rafael Cestero praised the developer’s “solid track record of success” and pointed to the importance of “creating much-needed affordable housing” in North Brooklyn which is rapidly gentrifying, partly due to the city’s own rezoning policies.
The two-pronged approach calls for a new eight-story building with 170 units for low- and middle-income families and 70 additional units for low-income seniors in the former nurses’ residence next door.
The plan also includes ground floor commercial space, a senior health-care facility, and some new underground parking, according to the winning developer Samuel Gaccione.
Two community groups, the Greenpoint Renaissance Enterprise Corporation and the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, submitted their own plans to redevelop the site, which has been dormant since the private hospital closed in 1982 after 67 years of service.
Greenpoint Renaissance’s defeat to a Queens firm was a bitter rebuke to Community Board 1, which voted last week to back the local bid in a process that has dragged on for decades — long enough for Greenpoint Renaissance Enterprise Corporation member Jan Peterson to actually need the housing for which she was fighting.
“I did not think that I was going to be a senior fighting for something I need,” said Peterson, who was on Community Board 1 when the hospital closed. “I thought I was fighting for something that other people would need, but now we are fighting for something that we could move into.”
The decision is a bitter disappointment for Greenpoint Renaissance, whom many locals regarded as the front-runner.
The winning bidder, TNS, is virtually unknown in Brooklyn, though it did complete the 10-story Bergen Street Condominiums in Cobble Hill in 2007.
©2010 Community News Group
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