Sections

City chops Two Trees

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

The city has halted construction of an Atlantic Avenue apartment building, saying it violated the Cobble Hill Historic District’s height limit.

In a battle that centered more on semantics than zoning, the Department of Buildings told DUMBO kingpin David Walentas he must remove rooftop structures that he calls “stairway bulkheads,” but the city decided were residential spaces that violate the district’s 50-foot limit.

Several city agencies had agreed with Walentas and his Two Trees Management that the building met city code.

Now the Department of Buildings disagrees with that assessment, nullifying the initial clearances and saying that it has “objections to the plans, such as … the use of the stair bulkheads at the roof.”

Two Trees “must begin addressing the objections [by May 30] or the permit for the new building will be revoked,” the Department of Buildings said.

In spite of the city order to reconfigure the bulkheads on the partially constructed building, Two Trees maintains its controversial rooftop should be in the clear.

“The bulkheads are not in any way ‘habitable’ space,” the company said in a statement.

Walentas, who earned his nickname “Cabana Boy” by adding the luxury amenity to many of his projects, had unsuccessfully tried to skirt the neighborhood’s maximum height last year, asking permission from the city to construct a 60-foot building. He said the extra height was needed so his company could make enough money to continue costly maintenance on the neighboring landmark Independence Bank building, which is slated to be the future home of Brooklyn’s first Trader Joe’s grocery. The City Council rejected the 60-foot exemption in November.

Opponents of Walentas’s project were crowing about his latest setback.

“[The rule is] that you can’t build anything inhabitable or residential above 50 feet,” said Jeff Strabone, president of the Cobble Hill Association. But Two Trees was “trying to do it through chicanery.”

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reader Feedback

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!