While Two Trees is drumming up support for its Dock Street DUMBO Project by promising a middle school to the community, it’s also not renewing the lease of the League Treatment Center school for disabled children at its 30 Washington Street property, also in DUMBO. The New York Times reports on the situation today:
New York Times: In Upscale DUMBO…: Schools close all the time in New York. But one reason the plight of this particular school has caught the attention of neighborhood activists is that its landlord is Two Trees Management.
The company, which owns much of the land in Dumbo, is seeking city approval to construct a building near the school’s space that would include apartments and a middle school.
Two Trees contends that the middle school is necessary to serve the recent influx of young families to the neighborhood. If that is so, opponents say, why push out another school — albeit a much more specialized one — not far away? In response, the developer contends the League Center school is “totally unrelated” to the need for a local middle school.
Compounding matters is that nearby options for disabled young people have already been hit hard. A preschool for children with disabilities at the nearby Brooklyn Heights Montessori School is to close in August 2010.
Jed Walentas, whose father, David, founded Two Trees, said that when League Center’s lease was last renewed eight years ago, there was a mutual understanding that the school would move out when it expired.
“I think everyone agreed that Two Trees couldn’t continue to subsidize their rent forever,” Mr. Walentas said, adding that the developer has no firm plans for the building.