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Sunset Park Library to Temporarily Move to Courthouse If Redeveloped

By Nikhita Venugopal | May 20, 2016 5:56pm | Updated on May 23, 2016 8:49am
 The Sunset Park branch of Brooklyn Public Library located at Fourth Avenue and 51st Street.
The Sunset Park branch of Brooklyn Public Library located at Fourth Avenue and 51st Street.
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DNAinfo/Nikhita Venugopal

SUNSET PARK — The neighborhood's public library is expected to get one step closer to redevelopment this spring. 

Brooklyn Public Library, in partnership with Fifth Avenue Committee, is proposing rebuilding and expanding the Sunset Park branch with a new library and 49 units of affordable housing constructed on top of it. 

The current 12,200-square-foot library, located at 5108 Fourth Ave., requires extensive repairs, and, with only 9,000 square feet of usable space, is also too small to adequately service the neighborhood, library officials say.

The redevelopment would involve building a new 21,000-square-foot library in an 8-story building with affordable housing units. 

BPL and Fifth Avenue Committee, a nonprofit developer, will likely begin the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure for the project this spring, library spokeswoman Madeline Kaye said Thursday.

If the project is approved, the branch will move into a 5,000-square-foot interim location at the Sunset Park courthouse during the reconstruction, taking over space from the NYPD's applicant processing unit, which will be moving out of the courthouse, Kaye said in an email. 

The interim facility will continue to offer literacy classes for adults and children, HSE and GED prep programs, immigration assistance and other programs. 

An earlier version of the reconstruction plan had included building 54 units of affordable housing and a new 17,000-square-foot library. But after community backlash and a demand for a larger library, BPL modified the plan to include less affordable housing and a bigger branch. 

Under the proposal, the Fifth Avenue Committee would purchase the current branch site at 5108 Fourth Ave., which is owned by the city, and construct the new building. 

The nonprofit developer would then hand the branch back to the city and retain ownership of the rest of the building.