St. Ann’s Warehouse Again Seeking Approval to Build in Tobacco Warehouse

You may recall the lengthy legal battle over the St. Ann’s Warehouse theater’s attempt to build a new performance space inside the 19th century Tobacco Warehouse in the Fulton Ferry Historic District, which led to a court decision holding that the transfer of the Tobacco Warehouse space from Brooklyn Bridge Park had not been done according to law. This legal obstacle has now been overcome by a transfer of new land into the Park in exchange for the Tobacco Warehouse, and St. Ann’s has presented new plans (see image) for a performance space, community room, and lobby to be built inside the roofless shell of the Warehouse. You can read more about the planned new facility and see more images in Theatermania.

The design proposal by St. Ann’s was considered by the Executive Committee of Community Board 2 at its meeting this last week and will go to the full board on May 8.

Note: This post has been modified since original publication.

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  • Hate Corruption

    Land grab yet again by St. Ann’s and the Walentas family. At what point do the Walentas stop being given preferential treatment by the city and state?

  • Livingston

    How is this a land grab? The article clearly states that additional land would be offered in a swap.

    And I fully support something be done to prevent the shell of the Tobacco Warehouse from deteriorating. A theatre would be a wonder cultural addition. As I remember, the original architectural designs for St.Ann’s actually won some awards. Hopefully they use the same ones.

  • Wiley E.

    Pay to play. That’s the ticket!

  • Marcia K

    St. Ann’s Warehouse has wonderful quirky plays and would be a great addition to that end of Dumbo. Land grab? That’s nonsense.

  • yoohoo

    I know what the “replacement” land is and don’t believe it’s a worthy exchange for the Tobacco Warehouse, but there’s no point crying over spilled milk; the deal is what it is.

  • stuart

    There is no doubt that this is a land grab by a private developer of public parkland. How can there be any doubt about that obvious fact? At first it was an illicit grab, with no due process, It was only because of a lawsuit brought by local neighborhood and preservation organizations that the City was forced to go through the legal process, and find substitute parkland, and do an environmental review. A process that I believe has not yet reached its conclusion. The national park service has not yet approved the swap so as usual the developer is jumping the gun, If the swap is found inadequate, they will be back to square one. That may very well be what ends up happening because the two tiny parcels being submitted as a swap are pretty dinky and unattractive compared to the large expanse of parkland being handed over. It’s not a done deal yet.

  • Boerum Bill

    High-end mall, please!

  • AlbertoinDumbo

    What land grab? it’s a straight up swap. And exactly what are the alternate plans for the Tobacco Warehouse? Maybe turn it into a KFC? Seriously, this is art space for a venerable community institution that has served us well for years and years, in exchange for unused land that can augment the waterfront park. What nonsense it is to call this a land grab. Who is benefitting? Art (and music and theater) and the neighborhood. The opponents can’t distinguish a worthy cause (like their futility at stopping the Dock Street horror) from a silly one (stopping this?). If you need a win, there are plenty of other places to get one that will actually help the neighborhood. Get your priorities straight.

  • marshasrimler

    St. Ann’s is wonderful and THIS IS ANOTHER LAND GRAB BY THE LANDED GENTRY.. THANK YOU HANK GUTTMAN.. We really need to think about what the elites are doing in turning Brooklyn into Manhattan. I just took a wonderful long walk through Brooklyn Bridge Park. It is a wonderful, beautifully landscaped development site give way to developers. .It is the City that the Mayor envisions. At an event at Columbia University last year I heard him speak about what he wants. .. It is a city that will attract and retain,employ and entertain the “best of the best.” People he hopes will come here and make their fortune like he did. A re-creation of his experience… FORGET ABOUT EVERYONE ELSE. There all sorts of food booths selling delicious looking things, Not a poor crowd. There was a long line for $16,00 lobster rolls..(from Red Hook) A mostly tourist and twenty something white crowd. Not much of the food was of real Brooklyn. I did not spot any red gravy italian, any fried chicken, any kosher deli.(Please correct me if I am wrong). Sure Lansen and Hennings was making black and white cookies. There were other vendors such as Saks Fifth Ave., Essex St. Market etc. Exactly how is this helping our local economy and creating jobs? It seems to me this is further promoting the economic divide in our city.

  • marshasrimler

    By the way to assume that this is an equal exchange of land is really another fabrication. Take a walk and decide for yourself. Let us see what the federal government decides about this

  • eat_well

    Fried chicken is unhealthy food and from what I recall is not native to Brooklyn or even north east. Most of brooklyn italian has nothing to do with what people actually eat in Italy and by definition is not native to Brooklyn. The most famous kosher deli is in the lower east side of manhattan. Lobsters on the other hand are traditional to the city which sits on the water and are most appropriate to the waterfront park. Hence the line. Not quite sure why a free park on the water is promoting economic divide, as it is frequented by the most diverse family crowd coming to Pier 5 and 6 which are connected by the city bus to the rest of Brooklyn. And yes, I hope that Brooklyn youth is inspired by mayor Bloomberg and his legacy. Much better alternative to eating fries and bitching about rich people.

  • marshasrimler

    i like lobster rolls and wealth. I just do not think the self appointed elite should give away public land in the name of culture. It is a land grab.

    Parks should make all New Yorkers feel comfortable
    not just toursits and twenty somethings. You obviously do not understand Brooklyn . I suggest you take a visit out of the Brownstone Belt. It is lovely but a bubble . Even the Barclays Center is more authentic in their choice of foods then the selections

    at the Tobacco Warehouse today.. It is Mayor Bloomberg’s sanitized New York. Wake up .. and yes there is an economic divide and he has helped it along.
    Finally as the Lawyers stated it is not a park but a park project and really a lovely and wonderful lawn for developers to build on.

  • fultonferryres

    Perhaps you missed the booth from the Carroll Gardens restaurant Buttermilk Channel, which was selling fried chicken with cheddar waffles? And perhaps you missed the booth called Sunday Gravy, which not only sells pasta with “red sauce,” but also chicken or eggplant parmigiana, as well as their own jarred sauce?

  • marshasrimler

    thank you

  • Joe A

    Yeah, I much prefer when the land was in private hands and we could look at all those dilapidated warehouses and rusting piers. How dare the government make the area beautiful and accessible to all.

    The naysayers are truly special.

  • Joe A

    So having a vendor selling lobster rolls is promoting the economic divide in our city? Really brilliant analysis. Yes, let’s instead have a McDonalds stand, that would be so much more democratic.

  • Joe A

    Yeah, how dare they give us a theater and arts center in used space. Those greedy developers.

  • marshasrimler

    it was never in private hands..

  • marshasrimler

    Insults are just insults… Read this weeks article in The Nation about Bloomberg’s New York.

  • marshasrimler

    the deal is theft of public land

  • Cranberry Beret

    Bingo. When it was fully public, it sat around derelict for 20 years (the best use the port authority could lease was parking cars to be shipped to latin america, and a building supplies warehouse). So now 90% will be park and 10% will privately developed. It’s nice to be nostalgic…I too wish for 100 years ago when the city would build grand parks like Central and Prospect completely on taxpayer dime, but that day has passed…I’m going to enjoy the 90% park and move on enjoying the rest of life.

  • Joe A


  • Joe A

    From the article:

    As the mayor of the civilized city—the one who has earned monikers like “urbanity’s great ambassador”—Bloomberg has pushed bike lanes, boutique parks and a complaints hotline. As the green mayor, he’s pressed tree planting, green building and an ambitious sustainability agenda. As the crusader mayor, he’s urged gun control and religious tolerance. And as the manager mayor, he’s wooed the tech sector, adding a shiny new spoke to the city’s economy, all the while keeping the wheels of city government spinning smoothly.

    Sounds pretty good to me.

  • eat_well

    I’m not 20 (too bad) and have lived in Brooklyn practically my whole life. Funny as you can’t see my picture. There’s absolutely nothing authentic about junk food. I think you do make an interesting point drawing parallels between poverty and unhealthy eating habits. Encouraging this in fact contributes to economic divide. Free park where people come to bike, jog and play soccer with their kids or friends does not. Clean park sanitized from trash does not. If this is what sanitizing means looks like Brooklyn is on board.

  • South Beach Smoke

    They are calling it a land swap but it will be called land grab, they are just trying to put it on the right path so that nobody can blame them.

  • Wiley E.

    Yes, let’s repackage this thing, and try it again. It’s is still hijacking public land for private use.