Walentas rental conversion to debut next spring

By Sarabeth Sanders | July 23, 2010 09:15AM

David Walentas and 25 Washington Street (building photo source: PropertyShark)

The latest commercial-to-residential conversion from Dumbo kingpins
David and Jed Walentas and their Two Trees Management is slated for
completion come springtime, The Real Deal has learned.

The 106 luxury rental apartments coming to 25 Washington Street will
have “the best views that Dumbo has to offer,” said Asher Abehsera,
residential vice president at Two Trees, who added that construction
kicked into high gear roughly three months ago.

The rustic loft apartments, overlooking Brooklyn Bridge Park,
will have exposed, wood-beamed ceilings and “higher-end finishes than
we’ve typically done,” Abehsera said.

Two Trees controls much of Dumbo and is credited with transforming the
neighborhood from a gritty industrial area to a residential hot spot.
Recent projects include a 259-unit condominium conversion of a former
manufacturing plant at 70 Washington Street and One Main Street, also known as the Clocktower Building, where the jaw-dropping $25 million triplex penthouse is said to be nearing a deal.

Prices at 25 Washington Street will range from around $2,000 for
studios to $4,800 for two-bedrooms. Two Trees expects to start leasing
the units in March 2011 and deliver them the following month, Abehsera
said.

The project drew a rash of criticism when its now former office tenants
caught wind of it last summer, a few months before their leases were
set to expire. Told they had to vacate by Nov. 30, tenants and
neighbors chided the Walentases by way of the Brooklyn Paper for
cashing in on the suddenly hot artist and non-profit neighborhood they
themselves had cultivated.

At the time, Jed Walentas dismissed the charges, telling the publication that “people’s leases end all of the time.”

Through a spokesperson, the Walentases declined to comment or to
provide any further details on the plans, but permits filed with the
Department of Buildings show that the eight-story property, which lies
within the Dumbo Historic District, has a 16,256-foot, two-story
addition in the works, and that the roof will contain “accessory cabana
spaces.”

The architect listed on the permits is Jared Della Valle of Della Valle
+ Bernheimer Design, who also designed the third-floor amenity space at
Forest City Ratner’s 80 Delkalb.