Dumbo’s cobblestone streets might have to be replaced

The streets don’t comply with federal regulations: report

Cobblestone streets in Dumbo
Cobblestone streets in Dumbo

The cobblestone streets in Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighborhood may have to be removed in order to comply with the Americans with Disability Act.

A report from the Historic Districts Council released Saturday found the most likely option is removing the streets so federal mandates are met, Crain’s reported.

The council had looked at ways to keep the character of the Belgian block while still meeting the demands of the act. However, while the council said there were ways for original stones to be used in reworking the roads, the areas where people walk would need to be replaced.

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“This is an understandably disappointing conclusion to advocates who would like to see the maximum possible preservation of the district’s existing Belgian block streetscapes,” according to the report cited by Crain’s. “These rectangular granite stones bring authenticity and a worldly air to the streets and sidewalks of historic districts.”

Dumbo has proved popular with companies looking for office space in the past few years. In 2014, online marketplace Etsy took 200,000 square feet at the Dumbo Heights office complex.

Last year, media firms Laundry Service and Cycle took 50,000 square feet at Midtown Equities, Rockwood Capital and the HK Organization’s 55 Water Street. In the July issue of the magazine, The Real Deal looked at whether or not the Brooklyn office market can live up to its initial hype. [Crain’s]Miriam Hall