I understand that Two Trees Management got their slimy little way and were given permission by City Planning to erect the building next to the old Independence Bank on Atlantic Avenue to their wished-for height—even though that height is 10 feet higher than what's allowed in the Cobble Hill historic district. And I understand that part of their argument in winning this decision was that they were being soooo nice by preserving the landmark bank. (Though, one might point out, that's sort of like arguing one should be allowed to buy a gas-guzzling SUV because one's been so good about sorting out the recycling—a thing you're required to do by law.)
But why, then, I ask you (or, rather, I ask Two Trees) is so much work being done on the luxury rental building and absolutely no work being done on the bank? For the past couple weeks, the new structure has been a hive of activity, quickly rising floor by floor. Meanwhile, at the future home of Trader Joe's: tumbleweeds. No action since the interior was gutted months ago. Apparently, Two Trees has its priorities, and they're the exact opposite of the wants of the neighborhood, which doesn't crave the rental and is longing for the supermarket.
One last thing. If Two Trees is going to be such good caretakers of the landmark bank, why can't they get the corner clock to work? It's been stuck at quarter to nine for four months.
UPDATE (1/16/07): Brownstoner reports: "We've heard from Councilman de Blasio's office that the Council did not approve Two Trees' application to build 10 feet higher than what's allowed in the Cobble Hill Historic District. The Council sent the proposal back to the Planning Commission, and the plans were subsequently approved at 50 feet, conforming to the district's height limitations."
This is contrary to previous reports I'd read, but, hey, it is good news. Still, I'd like to see some action at Trader Joe's.