Dock Street Blues

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The Dock Street development project in DUMBO faces a City Council vote tomorrow. If approved, an 17-story residential complex would be built right next to the Brooklyn Bridge. David Yassky, City Council member from the 33rd District in Brooklyn, discusses his opposition to the Dock Street project.

Ken Fisher, land use attorney representing the developer, Two Trees Managment, defends the project.

Location of the Dock Street Project


Ken Fisher and David Yassky

Comments [25]

Jessica from Bushwick

The arts and real estate are notoriously very strange bedfellows indeed. Of course Susan is grateful & of course she supports the project. That was the agreement and I'm glad they made it. St Ann's has been instrumental in bringing public attention to an area of DUMBO that was previously somewhat lost.
I guess what I'm saying is that communities need to be thinking about what the arts do for their neighborhoods and how to maintain that relationship, not leave it to the hands of real estate fate. Does the DUMBO community even know the extent to which the arts have changed the face of DUMBO in the last 15 years?
The Walentases have been more than generous to this end, essentially creating this strange artistic haven in DUMBO, and may continue to be so, but, the arts need to be thought of by the community equally in tandem with education. They are as important to our lives.

Jun. 10 2009 11:05 AM
Amy from Former Brooklynite

Hey Carlo,

It's good to know that St. Ann's will survive, but it's got me to wondering about how developers buy arts organizations, and their endorsement.

Doesn't St. Ann's Director have to, by virtue of her organization's survival, endorse the project? At moments like this are arts organizations (and arts professionals) crippled and prevented from speaking out due to the funding needs of their organizations, especially in this financial time, and does that make it an opportune moment for developers?


Jun. 09 2009 05:27 PM
Carlo Trigiani from Brooklyn Heights

Dear Jessica,

You should call St. Ann's. They support the project. At all the public hearings their artistic director testified that the Walentases gave her a space rent free for the last 8 years. They are truly grateful.

I'm hopeful that they will find a new and even better home in DUMBO. Don't be surprised if it's in a Walenats building.

Jun. 09 2009 03:55 PM
Jessica from Bushwick

I was surprised to listen to this debate and hear absolutely nothing about the structure this project will demolish in order to push forth this real estate agenda. St Ann's Warehouse has been a cultural institution responsible for the very revitalization of DUMBO that brings the desired demand these developers need to move in and try to make money. Why make a middle school requirement when a series of Catholic schools were shut down last year due to low attendance and lack of government support? Why not make a performance space requirement for an area of Brooklyn known for its arts & culture activities? Removing the very theater that has been key to bringing new life to that neighborhood for years, at a time when NYC is fast losing its arts spaces, would not only be a tragedy but would undermine the very reason for building there in the first place.

Jun. 09 2009 03:36 PM
Susan from Kingston, New York

In my book Yassky is as bad as Ken Fisher. Opportunists!

Jun. 09 2009 12:48 PM
Carlo Trigiani from Brooklyn Heights

The proposed building is very reasonable and fits in with the surrounding building and the bridge.

As for Yassky, he's had a "middle school task force" for over two years. His educational liason can't tell you who's on it, how often they met, what alternative sites have been identified and how they compare to Dock Street. I've asked repeatedly.

Mr. Yassky points the finger of suspicion at the SCA and Walentas while appeasing his core constituency - the $2500 check writing cocktail hour crowd of Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO.

As a public school parent, I'm tired of seeing Yassky show up at PS 8 everytime there's a photo op or good news he can claim for himself. If he's such a supporter of public schools he would answer this simple question - why don't his children attend public schools?

On getting his district a much needed middle school, he's an ineffective public servant.


Carlo Trigiani
Brooklyn Heights

Jun. 09 2009 12:43 PM

This guest sounds very untrustworthy, and even I, knowing nothing about the project, can tell he is lying through his teeth. I don't know why, but Brian seems incapable of refuting his claims. Maybe you should have also had on a guest who opposes the project and actually has the knowledge to debunk this guy's spin.

Jun. 09 2009 12:06 PM
galit bitton from Noho

What was that website that Ken Fisher so quickly gave out that lets you view the development from the bridge? Also, he seemed very defensive of the project, it seems that he has a deep financial incentive to promote it.

Jun. 09 2009 12:02 PM
RJ from brooklyn

I have never seen, with any of these projects that include "affordable housing," a mechanism for enforcement and substantial penalties for violation.

So what happens?

Jun. 09 2009 12:01 PM
Hans from Brooklyn

Aren't there enough empty condo buildings in downtown brooklyn right now? I am making reference to Oro, Toren and the water st. building just gone up next to the Manhattan bridge. Where's the money coming from? Aren't we in an economic crisis? When will it stop!

Jun. 09 2009 11:59 AM
antonio from park slope

Actually I should have included that it would snake into red hook which has no fast, reliable connection save a few buses..

Jun. 09 2009 11:56 AM
peter from Crown Heights

The Brooklyn Bridge is such a magnificent asset to the city BECAUSE it participates in a living city.

David McCullough is wrong, stripping the bridge from its context to make it a National park would kill it's power. This new building is about as innocuous as you can get. If we deny this type of development, we might as well preserve NY in amber.

Jun. 09 2009 11:56 AM
John from New York, New York

Question for your guest: Why support a new apartment building when property values are down all over the city, and residents in Williamsburg are moving out? In addition to the new buildings on Kent Avenue, will anyone move into another, new waterfront development? Is there a market for this much new real estate?

Jun. 09 2009 11:54 AM
anonymous from manhattan

as another architect in nyc, i say no. please please please, don't do it. it will be another eye blight to the skyline. please save the bridge and it's integrity, more public space please at the waterfronts, build up inland...

Jun. 09 2009 11:54 AM
Jeff Putterman from Queens

Ken Fisher make Hiram Monserrate sound like a priest.

Jun. 09 2009 11:53 AM
Hugh from Brookyn

If the building were to go ahead, would the develop be _legally bound_ to build the affordable housing, the school, etc. It seems like Forest City Ratner has flipflopped on a lot of its promises with little or no legal consequences (for example, the public park space pretty much disappeared from later plans).

Jun. 09 2009 11:49 AM
Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn Heights

Noticing New York's article with a list of evey Council Member's vote in committee last Thursday:

Sunday, June 7, 2009
A Lambda Night: City Political Candidates and Development (Focusing on Atlantic Yards and Dock Street)

Jun. 09 2009 11:48 AM
Dan Kaplan from Chelsea

just finished david mccullough book. he states that the same arguments were once made to try to prevent the bridge from being built to begin with.

Jun. 09 2009 11:48 AM
Zak from Washington Heights

How affordable is the affordable housing? Could I afford it? I'd love to live in DUMBO.

Jun. 09 2009 11:48 AM

This development will be as ugly as big towers on henry street in brooklyn heights and even more because it's right next to brooklyn bridge. As a brooklyn architect I can not stop critizing this HORRIBLE development.
and affordable housing in DUMBO!!!!!!!!!!! yet to see that..

Jun. 09 2009 11:47 AM
Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn Heights

Nticing New York did it last article on this subject. Noticing New York contacted Speaker Qunn's office plus all 17 Council Members whose votes the Speaker whipped and voted in favor of the project in committee. No, one noth the speaker, notthe 17 members voting in favor of the project would comment on the School Constructuion Authority smoking gun e-mails.

Jun. 09 2009 11:46 AM
hjs from 11211

first who would like to live so near to a bridge. i live near one of moses blights and i hate it.
2nd the city has to grow and we grow UP not out.

Jun. 09 2009 11:45 AM
Hugh from Brookyn

Could whatever federal organization that oversees the National Register of Historic Places have anything to say on construction near the Brooklyn Bridge?

Jun. 09 2009 11:44 AM
Peter from Sunset Park


The public transportation in and out of Sunset Park is great. We have the R Train and several bus lines and the M train as well. Where would a light rail street car go that won't make bus and car traffic miserable for everyone including bikers?

Take care sweety.

Jun. 09 2009 11:44 AM
antonio from park slope

Are there any new transportation alternatives that interest the councilman? Perhaps more integration between the surrounding neighborhoods. Like a light-rail/streetcar that begins in sunset park and ends in dumbo?

Jun. 09 2009 10:22 AM

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