Theater in the Ground: Legal Wrangling Ties Up St. Ann’s Move Across the Street


dumb Theater in the Ground: Legal Wrangling Ties Up St. Anns Move Across the StreetA Brooklyn judge on Friday blocked a plan that would allow the celebrated theater St. Ann’s Warehouse to move to an abandoned tobacco warehouse across the street in Dumbo.

Some background: We reported earlier that the theater was in competition with the LAVA dance troupe over which organization would earn the right to build something crazy in the warehouse. LAVA opted for a pyramid that, crazy though it may have been, eventually lost out on the bid. The new plan came to be for David Walentas, who owns the space that currently houses St. Ann’s, to build the new theater in the tobacco warehouse to make way for his controversial Dock Street project. Representatives for the National Parks Service, who thought they owned the tobacco warehouse, said this was O.K.

Now an injunction on behalf of the New York Landmarks Conservancy and the Brooklyn Heights Association, among others, claims the land wasn’t the NPS’ to give and the courts seem to agree, for now.

“Good coverage,” wrote a commenter on the WNYC website. “One correction: the Tobacco Warehouse and the Empire Stores are within the Fulton Ferry Historic District and not DUMBO, which abuts the Fulton Ferry Historic District and which, in my opinion among others, has a disticntly [sic] different character from that of the Fulton Ferry Landing Historic District.”

So, that’s what we’re dealing with here.