DUMBO residents and their City Councilman are urging the city to expand a proposed neighborhood rezoning in hopes of blocking an 18-story condo building that neighborhood real-estate titan David Walentas wants to construct next to the Brooklyn Bridge.
The city proposal encompasses only the 12 blocks bounded by Bridge Street, the Manhattan Bridge, the East River and Front Street — stopping short of the Dock Street site where Walentas wants to build.
As a result, the DUMBO Neighborhood Association unveiled its rezoning proposal last week, which would not only block Walentas, but also preventing future skyscrapers like the 33-story J Condos and 23-story Beacon Tower.
“The J and the Beacon are out-of-character buildings,” said Paul Graziano, who drafted the Association proposal.
Graziano’s plan would cover 25 square blocks and permit only [seven-story] construction next to the bridge, said Graziano. “It would allow development, but not over-development.”
As a result, Councilman David Yassky, a fierce opponent of developer Walentas’s Dock Street plan, said he’d push for the local proposal.
“I feel strongly that we should not block views of the Brooklyn Bridge,” said Yassky (D-Brooklyn Heights).
The city said the debate has only just begun.
“We are at the beginning and expect to engage in a dialogue with stakeholders,” said Jennifer Torres, a spokeswoman for the Department of City Planning.
The rezoning plans come three months after DUMBO became a historic district, a designation that does not affect building heights.