Walentas ‘Independence’ plan back on track • Brooklyn Paper

Walentas ‘Independence’ plan back on track

A Cobble Hill apartment building project that was temporarily suspended last year is back in full swing.

Developer David Walentas’s plan for a 37-rental-unit building on the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Court Street has been revamped and redesigned.

Community Board 6 rejected the Walentas’s original plan for an 81-foot building in 2005, and the Landmarks Preservation Commission refused to give the company permission to demolish a smaller building on Atlantic Avenue, next to the property, in 2006.

But it seems the kinks have been worked out.

“The project is definitely back up again,” said project manager Sam Charney, who didn’t want to go into detail before full design plans are revealed in two weeks.

What is known is that Walentas’s Two Trees Management wants to build a six-story building on the current parking lot behind the Sovereign Bank building, with stores at street level.

The LPC has approved the proposed building’s facade, as it is required to do for any new structure going up in a historic district.

The initial proposal called for tearing down a small annex to the 84-year-old Renaissance revival-style bank, converting the old bank building to housing and connecting the two buildings with a glass bridge. But the LPC insisted on the preserving the annex.

Two Trees is now looking for a major retailer to occupy the bank space. Construction is set to start late this summer, and the building is expected to be done in 2009.

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