- REAL ESTATE EDUCATION
- MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
- GIVING BACK
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Jed Walentas is a principal of Two Trees Management Company. Jed began his career in real estate working for The Trump Organization after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992. When the Giuliani administration agreed to rezone DUMBO in 1997, Jed came to work with his father, David Walentas, at Two Trees.
In recent years, Jed has assumed daily operating responsibility at Two Trees. Jed manages the company and oversees all aspects of the acquisition, development, construction, marketing and leasing of Two Trees’ properties. Under Jed’s leadership, Two Trees has transformed DUMBO from a gritty, underutilized industrial district into a vibrant, creative community that has preserved and built upon the existing local arts scene to create a world-renowned neighborhood. Today, DUMBO is a home to emerging and established arts and cultural organizations, as well as an eclectic mix of commercial and residential tenants. Two Trees leases space to approximately 400 commercial tenants including Etsy, Huge, Amplify, West Elm, and scores of others who create one of the City’s most vibrant technology sectors in DUMBO.
Two Trees successfully spearheaded a campaign to wire the entire neighborhood making DUMBO NYC’s first truly wireless community. Continued cultivation of the neighborhood’s retail establishments create wonderful shopping opportunities for visitors, workers and residents alike and provide the neighborhood with its genuine feeling of authenticity. In addition, Two Trees gives away or heavily subsidizes close to 100,000 square feet of space every year for artists and arts-related organizations.
The recently completed Mercedes House is the architecturally breathtaking, 29-story, LEED certified, mixed-use building with more than 900 residences on the West Side of Manhattan. Designed by Enrique Norten, it also houses a 330,000 square foot showroom and service facility for Mercedes Benz and a 36,000 square foot facility for the NYPD mounted horse police.
Two Trees’ first foray into the hotel world, The Wythe Hotel, is a 72-room boutique hotel in the heart of Williamsburg. The project was a painstakingly executed renovation of an old cooperage that has maintained the building’s historic charms and provides guests with tremendous service along with today’s modern conveniences. Since its opening in March of 2012 it has been the recipient of numerous design and travel awards.
Completed in 2011 and 2013 respectively were the residential conversion of Gair 2 and Gair 1. Gair 2 is a 106-unit 80/20 rental building in DUMBO which provided the neighborhood with its first affordable housing units. Gair 1 has 94 rental apartments and retail space on the ground floor.
Currently in construction is The Dock Street project, also in DUMBO. This will be a four hundred thousand foot mixed-use building at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge, featuring a new 300-seat middle school which will be donated to the City of New York. The project will also include more than 300 units of rental housing, parking and retail at the street grade.
Still in development stage is the BAM South project designed by Enrique Norten. The 32 story apartment tower with over 300 units will include a branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, performance spaces for BAM and a new public plaza.
The conversion Domino Sugar refinery in Williamsburg will be Two Trees largest undertaking yet with over three million square feet of residential, commercial and retail space. The ShoP designed buildings will transform the waterfront in Northern Williamsburg.
In past years, Jed led the conversion of 110 Livingston Street from the headquarters of the NYC Board of Education into 300-uxury condominiums; the transformation of 70 Washington Street, a former industrial warehouse building, into 259-high-end residential condominiums; and the conversion of a Downtown Brooklyn parking lot into the Court House, the first and only 80/20 rental building in Brooklyn housing the 40,000-square foot acclaimed Dodge YMCA and 320-luxury rental apartments for mixed-income tenants. Across the street, Two Trees has also brought retailers Trader Joes, Barneys Co-op and Urban Outfitters to Atlantic Avenue.
Jed is a committed supporter of the arts and education. He is a member of the Executive Board of Directors of REBNY, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, the Urban Assembly and Creative Time. He lives with his wife Kate Engelbrecht, a photographer, and their son, Theo, in Manhattan.