Think New York has had its fill of pyramid schemes lately? Think again! Prospect Heights-based theater/dance/acrobat troupe LAVA wants to be the group selected to take over Dumbo's Tobacco Warehouse, and the newly unveiled plan includes building a pyramid inside the roof-less waterfront 19th century landmark. But LAVA has a competitor, and that's St. Ann's Warehouse, the theater group/performance space about to lose its Dumbo home due to the construction of Two Trees's Dock Street condo building. St. Ann's H3-designed plan was just revealed as well, and the controversy surrounding the Tobacco Warehouse is so stressful, we could really go for a Camel Williamsburg.
The Tobacco Warehouse is being absorbed into Brooklyn Bridge Park, and the brick building's future has been one of the park's hot topics. Currently used as occasional event space, the Tobacco Warehouse has been eyed for a conversion to a year-round arts venue, which has neighborhood activists mad for several reasons. Some shudder at the additional crowds and the prospect of the crumbling old ruin getting a roof put over its head. Pretty much everyone agrees that the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation's selection process has been rushed and non-transparent.
There was a public meeting on Monday where complaints about these issues nearly took center stage. (Brooklyn Heights Blog has a great recap.) We say "nearly" because the two major proposals, from LAVA and St. Ann's, were revealed, and holy smokes, look at these things! Both plans call for leaving parts of the building uncovered, but otherwise they're pretty different, not to mention that one has a friggin' pyramid. (The renderings in the above gallery were yanked from the community presentation PDF.) It's expected that St. Ann's will win conditional designation, maybe as soon as today, much to the chagrin of former Partridge Family star Susan Dey, who showed up to campaign on LAVA's behalf. David Cassidy could not be reached for comment.
The Tobacco Warehouse's renovation and conversion is expected to be finished by spring of 2013, but given the continued controversy?like why the Request for Proposals was "only" sent out to 1,400 organizations?not to mention Brooklyn Bride Park's loose interpretation of deadlines, that may need to be pushed back a bit.
· Tobacco Warehouse Meeting Marked by Controversy [BHB]
· Tobacco Warehouse Plan To Be Chosen Soon [Brooklyn Eagle]
· Partridge Family star’s feathers ruffled over city’s handling of Tobacco Warehouse bid [NYP]