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Walentas vs. Goliaths • Brooklyn Paper

Walentas vs. Goliaths

They’re back…

The neighborhood activists who successfully opposed DUMBO real-estate kingpin David Walentas’s 2003 plan for a residential tower near the Brooklyn Bridge have stepped up again to attack his new proposal for the Dock Street site.

The DUMBO Neighborhood, Fulton Ferry Landing and Brooklyn Heights associations put out a joint statement on Wednesday that called Walentas’s latest design just as flawed as the proposal that the groups helped shoot down three years ago.

“The defects of this project are essentially the same as those that resulted in the failure of the previous project,” the groups said in the statement.

The $200-million, 400-unit development would rise 18 stories on Dock Street between Front and Water streets. Walentas — who told The Brooklyn Paper in June that he knew “not everyone” would like the plan — sweetened the deal with 80 below-market-rate units, retail space, and a 300-student middle school, an amenity that the DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights associations have called for in the past.

But Walentas’s Two Trees Management plan still doesn’t cut it: “We do need a middle school, but this need … should not be used to leverage an out-of-scale development,” Karen Johnson, president of the DUMBO group told The Brooklyn Paper.

Johnson and the other civic leaders take special issue with the impact the building, which would have an 18-story segment that could block views of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge.

“The site is positioned at a key transition zone between the five-story rowhouse scale of the Fulton Ferry Landing Historic District to the west … and the Brooklyn Bridge Anchorage to the south,” the statement said. “The view of this entire span must be protected.”

The statement comes a few days after Councilman David Yassky (D–Brooklyn Heights) came against the scale of the project, calling it “gigantic.”

Walentas told reporters this week that the reappearance of his old foes wouldn’t stop him from continuing to seek support from the city on his plan.

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