Not so great news for Two Trees Management developer Jed Walentas, but The Brooklyn Paper reports that an email leak “that he was pleased that the folks from “the projects” didn’t show up and make a “total racial mess” by opposing his controversial Dock Street project at a 2009 public hearing.” This article demonstrates that racial politics was a strategy they employed in order to win.
According to a Two Trees spokesperson, the email, to Brooklyn Bridge Park President Regina Myer, was misinterpreted and “describe how Markowitz and James had rightly decided to focus on the size and scale issues related to the development itself, not the ever-contentious subject of whether a new public middle school would attract minority students from outside DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights”.
However, Dock Street Dumbo opposition would note that they did turn out what were people from public housing at the prior hearing for the Community Board on December 17, 2008. According to the email from Jed Walentas, they made a decision not to do the same at the borough president’s meeting: “[Fort Greene Councilwoman] Tish [James] and Marty [Markowitz] agreed to not turn out dozens from the projects and make it a total racial mess.” This shows the collusion between developers and the city as we previously posted about.
NY City Council approved the rezoning of the Dock Street Dumbo development project in June 2009. Work was scheduled to begin in 2010, but has not begun as The Dumbo Neighborhood Foundation is in the process of suing Two Trees to kill the project.
(The email via Brooklyn Paper)