Borough President Marty Markowitz compared the task of evaluating the Dock Street rezoning proposal to a root canal last night at the Brooklyn Heights Association’s annual meeting — yes, a root canal.
Making a decision was tough, he said, but he understood that “it had to be done, like a root canal.”
In a letter to the city outlining his arguments for and against the Walentases’ project and rezoning proposal, Markowitz said he believes the “iconic views of the Brooklyn Bridge … must be protected.” [PDF]
Markowitz supports the concept of rezoning insofar as it allows for residential, retail and parking at the site, but rejects the building as it is currently configured.
“Let me make it clear — I do not accept this project as it is presented,” a fiery Markowitz told the crowd on Thursday night. “But this is the balance that we strive so hard to make.”
He recommends that the project be reduced by more than, 35,000 square feet and, according to a statement, that:
- The tower be made more slender — reducing it to 57 percent of its proposed girth — this will preserve public views. The developer would have the option, according to what is allowed by zoning, to recoup some loss of square footage by increasing the thinner tower from18 to 25 stories.
- The tower be set back 70 feet from Front Street — increasing the distance from the Brooklyn Bridge from 98 feet to 150 feet.
- The building’s wing along Water Street be reduced by two floors (which is consistent with my 2004 recommendation that the buildings along Water Street not be higher than 80 feet) and that the section along Front Street be lowered to 85 feet.
Watch our video coverage as Markowitz fully explains his views from the BHA meeting last night. (Our apologies for the shaky cinematography.) And we’re working on getting his renderings of how the building should be built.