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Dock Street project a go

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As this paper went to press, the City Council overwhelmingly approved the controversial Dock Street DUMBO project as modified by the City Planning Commission.

The vote was 40 to 9 with Brooklyn Councilmembers David Yassky (who represents DUMBO), Charles Barron, Vincent Gentile and Bill de Blasio among the dissenters.

The project as proposed by developer Two Trees Management calls for an 18−story building about 70 feet from the Brooklyn Bridge that includes a 300−seat middle school, 365 residential units including 20 percent for low−income families, ground−floor neighborhood retail and off−street parking.

The City Planning Commission recommended reducing the height to 170 feet from 183 feet, and the westernmost piece of the building on Water Street, which is to extend closer to the bridge and was proposed for nine stories, was reduced to 75 feet.

“We are grateful for today’s vote by the City Council approving Dock Street DUMBO and want to thank all the Council members for their careful deliberations and support,” said Two Trees Principal Jed Walentas.

On the other side, preservationists led by the DUMBO Neighborhood Association (DNA) along with a host of celebrities vowed to continue their fight.

This fight centered on their beliefs that the project will inhibit views of the nationally landmarked Brooklyn Bridge

“To our members, neighbors and admirers of the Brooklyn Bridge, far and wide, we assure you that our fight against Dock Street does not end here,” said DNA President Gus Sheha.

“As stewards of the Brooklyn Bridge, we are exploring various legal and governmental investigatory actions to counter the assault committed by Two Trees Management, aided and abetted by City Council, on our cultural heritage and history,” he added.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said she supported the project after walking over the Brooklyn Bridge on two occasions, once with the proponents of the project and once with the opponents,

“Based on that and other meetings and discussions and research, I believe that Two Trees has put forward a project that will be an improvement to the neighborhood of DUMBO, one that will have only a minimal impact on views of the bridge,” said Quinn.

The City Council vote is the penultimate step in the city’s rezoning process that included public meetings and recommendations by Community Board 2 and Borough President Marty Markowitz.

It now moves to Mayor Bloomberg for an expected signature.

At press time, Walentas was not available for comment on when he might break ground.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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