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LICH Demolition Delayed After Neighbor Blocks Access For Scaffolding

By Nikhita Venugopal | February 18, 2016 2:18pm
 A playground in the LICH complex was temporarily closed due to anticipated demolition of surrounding buildings.
A playground in the LICH complex was temporarily closed due to anticipated demolition of surrounding buildings.
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DNAinfo/Nikhita Venugopal

COBBLE HILL — A property owner next to Long Island College Hospital has delayed demolition of two medical buildings by telling the private developer to stay out of his backyard, court documents show. 

Fortis Property Group, which purchased the former hospital buildings for $240 million, plans to demolish the 12-story Fuller Pavilion and eight-story Othmer Pavilion extension to continue its redevelopment of the site.

But the demolition work would require Fortis to access the abutting properties at 86, 88, 90 and 92 Atlantic Ave. and install protective measures required by the city.

"As part of the demolition project, the demolition contractor is required to provide protection around the perimeter of the site consisting of protective sheds, scaffolding, netting and construction fencing."

However, Fortis has been "unable to secure cooperation" from the owner of those properties, listed as Tulip Associates LLC, according to a filing in Brooklyn's Supreme Court dated Jan. 27. 

"Because of [Tulip Associates's] refusal to allow access to their properties, the demolition project has already been significantly delayed," Fortis said in its petition to the court. 

Last week, the two parties reached a court-stipulated agreement, Fortis spokesman James Yolles told DNAinfo on Wednesday night. Weather also played a role in the delays, he said.

"This matter has been resolved. We are continuing with scaffolding installation, and when that process is finished we will begin demolition," Yolles said.

A representative for Tulip Associates LLC did not respond to request for comment. 

After inquiries from DNAinfo earlier this week, Fortis published a note on its website seeking feedback from local residents.

"As we move forward with the demolition of the former Fuller and Othmer Pavilions in order to make room for the new NYU Langone medical facility, we want to provide a place for the public to share concerns regarding demolition activity so that we can address any issues as quickly as possible. If you have any questions or complaints about demolition activity at the former LICH site, please contact us," the note said.


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Fortis has been working to gain access to the Atlantic Avenue properties since March 2015 to proceed with the scaffolding installation and demolition, according to the filing. 

The developer has completed the interior demolition of the Fuller Pavilion and Othmer Pavilion extension to prepare the site, in part, for the construction of NYU-Langone's new Cobble Hill medical facility. 

Fortis, which has proposed building high-rise residential towers at the LICH site, said in court papers that the dispute with its neighbors has led to additional costs and "delaying the delivery of health care to surrounding communities."

Long Island College Hospital, a full-service hospital, closed its doors despite more than a year of protests and legal battles from the community.

NYU-Langone will build and operate a medical center with outpatient services, a freestanding emergency room and cancer center in its place. 

Early last month, a children's playground at Pacific and Henry street was temporarily closed as a city safety requirement because of the upcoming demolition work.