News Flash: Court Continues Standstill Agreement in Tobacco Warehouse Controversy; Will Decide on Injunction Soon

BHB reader Martinlbrooklyn sends this report:

At 12:15 today, after an extensive hearing of the pros and cons for issuing a preliminary,14-day injunction against St Ann’s Warehouse building a new performance space inside the Tobacco Warehouse shell, Judge Vitaliano, with the agreement of the parties, continued the standstill agreement among the parties for another two weeks, and will decide whether to issue a preliminary injunction within this period.

For St. Ann’s Warehouse, it means no fund raising and no ground testing needed for going ahead with architectural design, at least for the next two weeks.

On the other side are the Brooklyn Heights Association and others who are seeking to restore the Tobacco Warehouse site to public park land. For them the decision means the strong possibility (based on the Judge’s probing questioning of the National Park Service, St. Ann’s Warehouse, and the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corp representatives) that the injunction will be granted.

Once that happens, anyone seeking to remove the property from public park land will be required to go through a stringent “conversion” process. The process is designed to protect park land from being taken away from the public. The consensus is that such de-parking of Federal land has very rarely happened.

We will keep you advised of further developments.

Share this Story:

, , , ,

  • Martha

    Just to clarify the previous writer’s post, Judge Vitaliano will actually be issuing his decision on the preliminary injunction in two weeks. At today’s hearing, the parties agreed to a continuation of the standstill agreement for those two weeks.

  • Claude Scales

    Thanks, I’ve amended the post accordingly.

  • Karl Junkersfeld


    I love you to death but your report is so saturated with bias against St. Ann’s it could only be deemed “fair and balanced” reporting by FOX news. Thank you Martha for the objective clarification.

    For those interested, here is a 90 second film of what the conversion of the Tobacco Warehouse will look like if St. Ann’s prevails.

    Other communities in the country should have such problems. lol

  • fultonferryman

    And Karl, your video presentation, which suggests that the ends justify the means, is comparable to what many who watch and appeared on Faux News believed about waterboarding.

  • stuart little

    this must irritate Mayor Bloomberg so much.
    that alone makes it a worthy battle.

  • http://Building Jeffrey J Smith

    Remember everyone, the most basic consideration here…

    If you increase the USE of an area, you want MORE police,
    fire and ems personnel also created as part of the most
    basic planks of the deal.

    All of this is going to draw THOUSANDS of parks users
    around and THROUGH the Heights on an average summer
    Saturday and Sunday. Now a non PC observation…the crowds
    aren’t coming from 50th St and Park Ave.

    While you sort out the legalities and complexities, ALSO focus
    on some simple central dangers of the system you are constructing. If you increase the use of an area you must also create public safety facilities to the scale of the population
    growth you are causing in an area.

    Otherwise, what you are giving everyone in the heights is
    thinner lower levels of safety on every level.

  • http://Building Jeffrey J Smith

    You have a system, now, right this minute, which cant or wont secure the Pierrepont playground at night. What kind of management security do you think theyll be with a park serving thousands? The Parks dept has been SEVERELY drained of funds even for some of the most basic functions, Unless all
    the sources in Parks dept mgt are ALL in concert fabricating
    what is going on in the parks dept. So how is the city and state going to properly manage and secure a big new park? You
    should be seriusly asking these questions….

  • fultonferryman

    ^^^ Who let this guy in?

  • AEB

    Hah, fultonferryman! He and Ms. Gioseffi seem to be vying for the 10,000-word post-or-bust commemorative badge.

    But then, brevity IS the hobgoblin of…teacup chihuahuas.

  • http://Building Jeffrey J Smith

    Its interesting The moment you address an issue which is cross purposes with some RE (were going to make 100’s of millions out of this never mind the very questionable security and social effects and everythings going into a tax free and judgement proof
    trust) the brick bats start. Notice the non addressing of the issue-
    in some of the-brief-posts.

    The moment what you say is non PC the brick bats also start….

  • Mary

    @Jeffrey The folks from 50th & Park look down on BROOKLYN as much as you look down on the people you don’t want coming here in droves.

  • David on Middagh

    AEB, that’s actually a common misquote. Emerson said, “The *love* of brevity is the hobgoblin of teacup chihuahuas.”

  • Eddy de Lectron

    @ Jeff Smith, If you only knew as much as you wrote. You would know; the Brooklyn Bridge Park is not being run by the NYC Parks Department.
    As far as your racist comment
    “Now a non PC observation…the crowds aren’t coming from 50th St and Park Ave”.
    Sections of the park have been open for almost a year and the prevailing “crowd” are people from this area and tourists. Besides, the people you fear already come here to enjoy the Promenade, usually couples on dates, not troublemakers.
    Try a little research before ranting it might make you sound like less of a crackpot.

  • Livingston

    I’m still cheering for St. Ann’s.

    Re: the lawsuit — what a complete waste of time & $$ for all involved.

    BTW, I viewed the video and the current “semi-permanent tent structure” at the site is glaringly out of place and ugly as sin. Can’t believe the BHA is fighting to keep the status quo.

  • stuart little

    unfortunately, the only way that citizens make their voices heard in this administration is to sue. It was wrong for the State Office of Parks to claim, with a straight face, that the historic buildings known as the Empire Stores and the Tobacco Warehouse were never really part of the state park and that therefore they were merely rectifying a mapping error by removing them from the park at the time of the transfer to the city.
    The BHA was probably initially motivated by their feud with David Walentas,but in pursuing that feud they discovered a legitimate act of deception by government officials. That is what bothers me and why I support the lawsuit.

  • AEB

    David, I stand (on my hind legs) corrected. Thanks.

  • fultonferryman

    Livingston, view the proposal for the TW that the BPPCC forwarded,
    Specifically, see page 17 for the rendering of a retractable roof. We have never been happy with the current tent, and are not fighting to keep the status quo.

  • Hicks St Guy

    I know Eric Vitaliano from Staten Island where he was Congressman until the pig Molinari won. Eric is a very
    moderate and honest fellow, and both sides are lucky
    to have him hearing this case.

  • http://Building Jeffrey J Smith

    I knew when I dared to mention that a varied group of users would
    be a factor that the R word would be shortly be howled. Its the
    basic way a radical element has prevented all reasonable exam-
    ination of thier palns for american society over the last 40 years since the sixties. Sorry but there is still a satrong community of clear eyed observers who recognize dangerious behavior in
    public life and openly question these very questionable designs on American life.

    That simply being a responsible citizen.

    I do not feel that anyone should attempt to injure any component
    of American society. But I will not avoid openly commenting on
    seriously questionable in public life because someone may
    use the R word.

    We cannot limit open public debate because there is a now entrenched radical element which now requires a social/
    political litmis test for any open public discourse to go foward.

  • http://Building Jeffrey J Smith

    I simply ask everyone to examine the serious security problems
    NYC and NY State parks have had in the last ten years.

    I know that it may distract from the existing central considerations
    discourse, but some clear eyed responsible person has to bell the cat here; what size and type of demographics will we see as a
    result of these plans?

    The security effects on the heights should be the FIRST consideration.

  • Court watcher

    @HickStGuy–apparently you don’t know Vitaliano that well. He was never in Congress, but was elected to the NYS Assembly until his election to NYC Civil Court and then subsequent appointment to the NYS Supreme Court.,
    His attempted election to the US House was in 1997, well before he became a Judge, and he lost to Vito Fossella AFTER Susan Molinari’s resignation.

    As for your “pig” reference, I think you may want to go to the doctor. I think you’re growing a misogyny. You kiss your mother with that mouth?