CB2 votes against new hi-rise planned for DUMBO

The Brooklyn Paper
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Community Board 2 this week rejected a plan by real estate developer David Walentas to build a 16-story residential building in DUMBO that would block views of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge.

At a community board committee meeting earlier this month, residents had slammed the plan because the proposed building, which would rise at the corner of Water and Dock streets, would obstruct views of the 121-year-old span.

The committee voted to disapprove the application and this week the full community board followed their lead, voting down the proposal 39-0 with one member abstaining.

The proposed 178-foot-tall residential and commercial building, which would rise at 38 Water St., which is now home to the single-story St. Ann’s Warehouse, would include 200 apartments.

The plan also calls for 8,000 square feet of retail space along Water Street, an 8,000-square-foot performance space that would be rented to a non-profit arts group and a 327-space public parking garage with an entrance and exit along Front Street.

As part of the proposal Walentas, principal owner of Two Trees Management, is also seeking to knock down a four-story, red-brick building — which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

That building currently houses the Smack Mellon Studios art gallery.

Because the area is currently zoned for manufacturing, Walentas needs a variance from the city, which requires that it pass the city’s rigorous Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP).

“We’re glad CB2 voted not to recommend it, but we still recognize that we still have quite a fight ahead of us as the proposal winds its way through ULURP,” said DUMBO Neighborhood Association President Nancy Webster.

Jed Walentas, a principal of Two Trees Management, said they were not planning on scaling back the project.

“We feel strongly that there is no impact on the bridge,” said Walentas, who added that they have consulted extensively with the Department of City Planning.

As part of the city’s ULURP, the application will go before the borough president, City Planning Commission and City Council. Borough President Marty Markowitz will hold a public hearing on the application at 6 pm on Tuesday, June 1, in the ceremonial courtroom at Borough Hall, which is on Joralemon Street at Court Street.

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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