Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Walentas, With An An Asterisk

Whether or not one approves of the controversial Dumbo Dock Street project, which will appreciably degrade historic views of and from the Brooklyn Bridge, the tactics employed by the Walentas family and their real estate company Two Trees has certainly changed the way they will go down in the history books.

Today the City Council approved the hulking project. But approval came only after Two Trees poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into the coffers of influential council members and colluded with the School Construction Authority (SCA) to mislead the public into thinking that the SCA actually investigated the best options for local school children.

After reading one of the fetid SCA emails, Councilman Gioia said, “I have to say, this is the most disturbing document or email that I have seen in my eight years in Council …This is not how government is supposed to work.”

Now the Dumbo Neighborhood Alliance is asking the Attorney General for an investigation, and rightly so.

Opponants to Dock Street include more than 25,000 local residents who signed petitions and postcards, 8 neighborhood organizations, the National Trust, the Municipal Art Society, the Historic Districts Council, Architecture Society of New York City, the Roebling Society – Chapter for Industrial Archeology, the American History Museum of the Smithsonian, Pulitzer Prize winner David McCullough, cinematographer Ken Burns, the Roebling Family and more.

Supporters include some parents who think that their children might get into the small middle school (300 seats, as opposed to the more typical 500) that Walentas promised, and those who will make money from it -- or who already have.

David Walentas was once admired for jump-starting the transformation of Dumbo. Now, whether or not Dock Street is actually built, the Walentas name will forever have an asterisk next to it.

- Dock Street Sides Get Ready for Thursday's Hearing
- School 'Not Allowed' in Brooklyn Bridge Park
- Dumbo Dock Street Public Hearing Tonight (past)
- Put Middle School in Brooklyn Heights' P.S. 8, Says Yassky

Image courtesy of Two Trees Management

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Anonymous said...

99% of New Yorkers dont know who these people are. Nobody cares. AG? Yeah ok let me know when that happens. You lost the vote..badly, get over it.

Anonymous said...

The operative word is BADLY. That's how it's done in New York.