There wasn’t exactly news in the big profile New York Magazine ran about Jed and David Walentas and their Brooklyn development company Two Trees, but it’s an interesting read and documents the elder Walentas’ extraordinary rise from a Dickensian childhood upstate. He lived and worked on a farm away from his family beginning at age five to help his family make ends meet after his father had a stroke.
The story suggests that the firm — a prime mover in the resurgence of Brooklyn because of its development of Dumbo and the Wythe Hotel — may now be losing out to bigger bidders from Manhattan, such as Jared Kushner. But be that as it may, the redevelopment of the Domino site will keep the firm busy for many years to come.
The elder Walentas had some harsh words for de Blasio, which the author of the piece captured as the two were sparring over Domino earlier this year:
“I think de Blasio’s a disaster for the city,” said David Walentas. “His whole administration are amateurs and left wing. He’s never run anything and he has no ideas. All he wants to do is get his name in the paper.”
Two Trees issued this statement after the story came out, which Capital New York included in an email:
All of the statements in this story were made in the heat of intense negotiations. We believe the outcome of those negotiations was mutually beneficial and we are grateful for the opportunity to build this great plan. We fully support Mayor de Blasio’s housing plan and vision for supporting mixed-use communities in New York City, which has always been and will always be core to our approach at Two Trees, and have the deepest respect for him, his ambitious goals and his talented team. We look forward to working in support of those goals in the months and years to come at Domino and across the city.
The Flying Walentases Devour Domino, Extend Brooklyn Domination [NY Mag]
Rendering by SHoP