280 Cadman Plaza West is the redevelopment of the site of the Brooklyn Heights branch of the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) into a new 26,620 square foot library, a 36-story tower with 134 condominium units and two retail spaces on Clinton Street.

The new library will have its main entrance on Cadman Plaza West and will spread out over three levels. It will include a double height area on the ground floor, a mezzanine, plus an auditorium and public event space below grade.

The residential entry will be located on Clinton Street. The residences will include a mix of 1-4 bedroom apartments, have generous layouts, expansive views of the NYC skyline and include a comprehensive set of amenities as well as underground parking.

One of the retail spaces will be leased by Brooklyn Roasting Company for a coffee shop and the other will be a pop-up retail store curated by Smorgasburg.

The building will also include a 9,000 square foot STEM lab to be operated by the Department of Education.

In addition, as part of the project, 114 units of affordable housing will be built on two privately-owned sites in Community Board 2. The affordable housing will not utilize any public subsidy.

280 Cadman Plaza West is designed by Marvel Architects and developed by The Hudson Companies Incorporated.

The $52 million acquisition price for the City-owned property will enable BPL to fit out the new Brooklyn Heights branch and to fund the deferred capital needs of other branch libraries throughout the borough. This project comes at a time when NYC’s three public library systems have seen tremendous increases in utilization rates while public funding has remained well below what’s needed to fund repair and capital costs. The Center for an Urban Future’s recent report, Branches of Opportunity, highlights the critical role that New York’s public libraries play in the city’s economy and quality of life while examining opportunities for libraries to grow and improve. The partnership behind 280 Cadman Plaza West speaks to the report’s recommendation to create creative partnerships and reduce libraries’ dependence on public funding.

The redevelopment of 280 Cadman Plaza West is a unique opportunity to raise much needed capital to pay for deferred maintenance for other branches and to build an efficient and inspiring state-of-the-art library. At 26,620 SF, the new Brooklyn Heights Branch will be the largest branch in the BPL system.

For the duration of the Project’s construction period, the Brooklyn Heights branch library will be relocated to 95 Remsen Street, five blocks from the current location, to a renovated branch space at Our Lady of Lebanon Church. Normal library hours will be maintained at the temporary location; there will be minimal interruption in service for the Brooklyn Heights community while the branch library moves to its interim space.

The interim library is designed by LevenBetts. The firm’s experience includes the planned renovation and maintenance upgrade of the East Flatbush BPL branch. Their addition to the iconic Stockholm Public Library won the 2008 AIANY Design Award.

BPL’s staff is intimately involved in the planning required to move the branch library to its interim space. BPL approved of the relocation site as part of Hudson’s RFP designation.

280 Cadman Plaza West will also include the construction of 114 units of Inclusionary / workforce housing on two privately-owned sites in Clinton Hill within the boundaries of Community Board 2: 1041-1047 Fulton Street and 911-917 Atlantic Avenue. The affordable housing will range in affordability from 60% – 125% of the Area Median Income and will require no additional subsidy from the City of New York. For more details on the rents and income limits, please click here.

Hudson will partner with IMPACCT to market the apartments per HPD’s guidelines. There will be a 50% preference for income eligible residents of Brooklyn Community Board 2.

The inclusion of affordable housing is a crucial community benefit of 280 Cadman Plaza West. Since Hudson’s inception in 1986, developing new affordable housing has been a fundamental part of its mission and organizational culture. Hudson has an exemplary track record – having built 2,400 units of affordable housing in 22 projects — and prides itself on producing well-designed and environmentally sustainable buildings. The affordable housing buildings are also being designed by Marvel Architects.

In June 2013, NYC Economic Development Corporation and Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to identify a development partner for the site, which received one of the highest response rates in EDC’s recent history. The Hudson Companies Incorporated was designated in September 2014. Hudson agreed to pay $52 million to acquire the land and develop 114 units of affordable housing units. For more information on the selection process, please click here.

The Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development has issued a Negative Declaration for the Project, thereby marking the completion of the City Environmental Quality Review Process. Click here to download the project’s Environmental Assessment Statement.

The 280 Cadman Plaza West project has completed the Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP) to obtain approval for three actions: 1) disposition of City-owned land to a Hudson affiliate, 2) acquisition of a condominium unit within the project for the new branch library and 3) modification of previously-approved special permit for One Pierrepont Plaza. The project was reviewed by Brooklyn Community Board 2, the Brooklyn Borough President, the City Planning Commission (CPC), the Brooklyn Borough Board, the New York City Council and the Mayor. Click here to download the certified ULURP application. The ULURP application was approved on December 16, 2015.

The project was approved by the Borough Board pursuant to New York City Charter Section 384(b)(4) on March 1, 2016.

The project’s anticipated schedule is:

  • Public Review: Summer 2015 – Winter 2016 (completed)
  • Build out of interim library: Winter/Spring 2016
  • Relocate library to interim location: Summer 2016
  • Construction start: Fall 2016
  • Construction completion: Summer 2020

This is a short list of our most frequently asked questions. For more information about the Project, please contact us at info@280cadman.com.

Why not keep the existing library building?

The building was built in 1962 and was designed to house both a library and Federal fallout shelter.  According to an estimate provided by the NYC Department of Design and Construction and verified by a third party consultant, the building has over $9 million in outstanding capital needs: $3.6 million for an HVAC replacement; $4.2 million in upgrades to the boiler, lighting, roof and site drainage; $1 million for a new elevator and $0.5 million for fire safety and security enhancements.  It is also poorly laid out, with too little space for public service and too much space for staff and storage.  The spaces inside have low ceilings and little natural light and also have limited adaptability.  Moreover, the building lacks the basic functionality of a modern library – collaborative areas, flexible workspaces and the infrastructure to support cutting-edge technology. Even if BPL were able to come up with the more than $9 million just to upgrade the vital infrastructure, it wouldn’t address the layout and functionality issues.

What is happening to the Business & Career Library (B&CL) currently located at 280 Cadman Plaza West?

Brooklyn Heights was originally chosen to host the B&CL due to its proximity to Lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn’s business, finance, insurance and law firms.  Due to rapid changes in technology, the primary users of the B&CL have also changed.  For this reason, BPL has long planned to move the B&CL to the Central Library.  Once relocated, jobseekers and entrepreneurs, many of whom live and work outside the downtown Brooklyn area, will enjoy the expanded hours, interdisciplinary resources, and modern work and study spaces that the Central Library provides. Many of the B&CL’s programs will take place in the Shelby White and Leon Levy Information Commons, Brooklyn Public Library’s newest space for collaborative learning. Additionally, relocating to a more central location will provide access to this resource for all of Brooklyn.

Will there be a community facility use?

At the conclusion of the ULURP, Hudson and the Department of Education (DOE) came to an agreement to include a 9,000 square foot STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) lab for students in School District 13.

What other libraries are benefitting from this deal?

So far, BPL has announced that the Walt Whitman branch will be getting $6 million, the Pacific branch will be getting $3.5 million, the Washington Irving branch will be getting $5 million, and the Sunset Park branch will be getting $8 million. This represents approximately 50% of the funds available to improve libraries. There will be further announcements identifying additional branch libraries that will receive funding from this project.

How can I apply for the affordable units?

The 114 units of affordable housing will likely be completed in 2018. Marketing of the affordable units to the public typically start 6 months prior to completion. IMPACCT (formerly Pratt Area Community Council), which will be handling the marketing, will send announcements to Community Board 2 and make outreach efforts to various local community organizations. It will also buy advertisements in local- and city-wide newspapers. The ads can also be found on NYC Housing Connect, where you can sign up for email notices and apply online.

Please note: This is not an offering. No offering can be made until an offering plan is filed with the Department of Law of the State of New York.