Peek behind half the atrocious, elephantine, misguided examples of overdevelopment in South Brooklyn and you'll find a common culprit: the feckless, irresponsible, fire-sale antics of Long Island College Hospital.
Wonder where L&M Equities got all the land needed to flatten the Hamberger Christmas Tree Ornament Factory on Hicks Street and put up a fat slice of condolife? They bought it off LICH, of course. How did the Clarett Group get its hands on 340 Court Street at the corner of Union, paving the way for their plan to build a much bigger condo/retail building than the squat former Brooklyn Longshoremen's Medical Center that sits there now? By giving LICH a cool $24 million, that's how. And how is it that Time Equities’ is able to annex the landmarked 105-year-old Lamm Institute building at 110 Amity Street with a cram-as-much-housing-in-as-possible plan for six townhouses around the corner, not to mention a rooftop bulkhead on top of the old Lamm? You guessed it! LICH needed some pocket change.
I don't know what's going on over there at ugly old Long Island College Hospital (Ugh. So ugly.). But they sure need some money and have decided that selling off land to the smarmiest bidder is the best way to do it. OK, fine. It's their property. But should the community have to pay for their every windfall? Can LICH only keep the local citizenry in good health by killing off the neighborhood's integrity? The first two of the projects mentioned above have come down in size since first proposed, but you can bet that wouldn't have happened if developers hadn't seen that local residents weren't about to lie down about the plans.
How many more Brooklyn lots LICH owns I don't know; they're a secretive bunch over there. But if I were an unscrupulous developer looking to build me some new luxury condos, I'd hightail it off to LICH with a sack of money, plop it on the president's desk and say, "Whaddaya got?"