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Controversial Walentas Dock Street Project Gets First Okay

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The emails that David and Jed Walentas' controversial Dock Street development in Dumbo had been approved by Community Board 2 started showing up in our inbox at 7:49PM. The board voted 30-7 to approve the 18-story development, which has drawn bitter opposition by some in the community, because they say it's too close to the Brooklyn Bridge and will block historic views. We'll get into a couple of details in a moment about the vote (which is simply advisory), but first, want to share our favorite email, which showed up at 9PM:

Disclosure: 1. I am anti-Dock St. 2. I am drunk. The Community Board voted 30-7 in favor of the Dock St. DUMBO development at tonight's meeting at Borough Hall in Brooklyn. Their vote is just a recommendation, but it's one step closer for team Walentas to getting this lurking mass approved. For everyone in DUMBO, say goodbye to seeing the Brooklyn Bridge, as this building will be pretty much sucking face with it permanently. The project, which was popular with many of the board members because it includes a public middle school, still has to go through the full land use review process, including approval by the City Planning Commission, City Council and Mayor. Two Trees has reportedly spent about $180,000 lobbying for and promoting the project last year. It was revised significantly after an earlier proposal was shot down four years ago. It would include 325 market rate rental apartments and 65 affordable ones.

Dock Street is the most controversial project to come along in Dumbo in years, drawing both fervent support and bitter, angry opposition. Among those against it are City Council Member David Yassky and the Dumbo Neighborhood Association. A Two Trees spokesperson has referred to the project as "well-designed and contextual" and "the right project in the right place at the right time." A Brooklyn Heights Blog tipster reported, meanwhile:

Ken Fisher (super lobbyist was there and looked pleased with the result). Papa Walentas was also there and looked very happy and was speaking with Tish James who called it “a great day.” I didn’t see Jed, but it’s possible he was there. People holding signs for and against. Clearly it was emotional for some people on the CB and in the audience. Bottom line, you win some, you lose some. It won’t be the end of the world, but I truly hope that Two Trees lives up to all of its commitments to the middle school. Basically since nothing is in writing, and no financing is lined up, they just handed Two Trees a blank check. A few CB members pointed that out. One CB member called the BoE school building process “rotten.”

Much more fun to come as the process continues.
· BREAKING: Community Board 2 Approves Dock Street DUMBO Project [BHB]
· Controversial Dock Street Project Approved by Community Board [GL]
· CB2 Gives Thumbs Up to Dock Street [Brownstoner]