Well, not so fast. Developer David Walentas is offering the chance to move into a new space at his 110 Livingston Street condos to one theater group, but not for free. The New York Times reports that any troupe planning to take up residence there would have to spend at least $500k in renovations.
New York Times: David Walentas Neighborhood Creator and Patron of the Arts: Is Downtown Brooklyn the new theater district? David Walentas, the developer famous for turning Dumbo from industrial wasteland into its present chichi incarnation, thinks so, and he's willing to foot the bill to make it happen. The self-proclaimed "Pied Piper of Dumbo," who's taking his tune to 110 Livingston, the former Board of Ed headquarters he's turning into condos, is offering at least ten years free rent to a theater group that takes up residence there. Walentas's son, Jed, says they "think [having a theater] will be good for the neighborhood," though it's obviously not bad for business, either, to have apartments situated in a thriving, artsy area, which isn't exactly what Downtown Brooklyn is — yet. Walentas previously worked the same M.O. in Dumbo, where he subsidized rents for St. Ann's Warehouse, Smack Mellon Gallery, and Jacques Torres's workshop to keep the neighborhood "edgy" (gruppy?) though decidedly upscale. Unsurprisingly, borough president Marty Markowitz is bullish on the whole venture. "[This] corridor can be known as Brooklyn's Off Broadway," he says. "You got the BAM Cultural District on one side of Flatbush, Theatre for New Audiences is relocating here, the Kimble Theatre and the Lyceum on Fourth Avenue, the Brooklyn Heights Players."