Wrecking balls: Neighbors say developer is demolishing a historic building in DUMBO

Debris is being removed from 205 Water St.
The Brooklyn Paper / Julie Rosenberg

They said it would happen and, indeed, it happened: Neighborhood activists in DUMBO say a developer has begun demolishing a historic building in hopes of finishing the job before the entire area gets landmark status.

Hearings to determine the future of the so-called “DUMBO Historic District” are set for next month, but HK Management has apparently started work on dismantling the 140-year-old building at 205 Water St.

“It’s breaking our heart,” said Milton Herder, of the DUMBO Neighborhood Association, which is spearheading the move to landmark the neighborhood so such demolition can’t happen.

“It seems quite obvious that [developer Harry Kotowitz] is pre-empting the [landmarking]. We knew it was going to happen and it’s happening.”

The DNA began seeking landmark status seven years ago. Two years ago, Landmarks Preservation Commission Chairman Robert Tierney declared DUMBO “protection-worthy.”

Kotowitz had promised to hold off on demolition work until the LPC hearings next month, but instead, got a demolition permit. Workers were recently seen dumping plastic bags of rubble into containers on the street, Herder said.

A spokesman for NY Installation, which is doing the work, said his crew was only cleaning up inside the building — not demolishing it.

Kotowitz did not return calls.

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