Families in downtown Brooklyn have long lobbied DOE for new middle schools, especially as local elementaries revive (pace, PS 8's new expansion plans) and the waterfront neighborhoods host new (and massive) housing developments. Now, the Daily News reports there's more support for a new middle school in DUMBO, 45,000 square feet of spanking-new classroom space in a much-criticized project by the Walentas family Two Trees company, headed up by heir apparent, 33-year-old Jed Walentas. Even Schools Construction Authority president Sharon Greenberger has thrown her support behind the Dock St. tower middle school -- and it's safe to bet, the DOE approved her endorsement.
Walentas pere has been steadily, stealthily buying up waterfront and DUMBO parcels for the last two decades, with not a lot of love lost between him and local residents. Cynics wonder, in the quid-pro-quo world of real estate development, what the net gain is for his Dock St. tower, above and beyond the potential benefit to the community.