Plans Filed to Convert Cobble Hill’s Landmarked Polhemus Hospital Building to Apartments, 350 Henry Street

350 henry street polhemus building 2012The Polhemus Building at 350 Henry Street, photo by Nicholas Strini for PropertyShark

Fortis Property Group is moving forward with their plans to redevelop Long Island College Hospital’s Cobble Hill buildings, and now they’ve filed an application to renovate the landmarked Polhemus Building at 350 Henry Street into apartments.

The filing calls for 17 apartments spread across 43,185 square feet, for an impressive average unit of 2,540 square feet. Clearly, these will be condos.

The eight-story building will host three units on the first floor. Then there will be two units on all the upper floors except for the fourth, where two units and a lower duplex will be followed by the upper half of the duplex and one more unit on the fifth floor.

BKSK Architects are the architects of record, and permits still list SUNY Downstate as the owner.

The Polhemus Building was built around 1896 and sits inside the Cobble Hill Historic District, which means that Landmarks has control over what happens to its exterior. LICH closed the building, a former medical school, in 2008. They sold it to the state for $29.9 million in order to stave off bankruptcy, along with the connected red brick structure at 97 Amity Street. Both were supposed to become condos, but the conversions never materialized.

Last month, Fortis unveiled its grand redevelopment plan to neighbors, and they were not happy about the prospect of four towers reaching up to 40 stories on Hicks, Amity and Henry Streets. One called it “kind of disturbing,” even though the project will bring 660 market rate and 220 affordable units to the former LICH campus.

A spokesman from Fortis emailed us this statement on the project:

“We are committed to honoring the neighborhood’s rich architectural history and to redeveloping the Polhemus Building in line with the high standards of the Landmarks Preservation Committee. We’re also pleased that our plans for the Polhemus Building are consistent with the Cobble Hill Association’s recommended guidelines, and look forward to continuing our work with the community in connection with the larger redevelopment of the Project.”

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