Ask: Mentors Members
Jed Walentas
Two Trees Management Co. LLC
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 1997, when the Giuliani administration agreed to rezone DUMBO, 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, Wireless Generation, 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.

Current projects that Jed oversees include the design, construction and leasing of Mercedes House, an architecturally breathtaking, 29-story, green, mixed-use building with more than 900 residences on the West Side of Manhattan that will be fully completed in 2012. In addition to the residential uses, Two Trees built and sold a 350,000 square foot commercial condominium to Mercedes Benz to serve as their Manhattan flagship and also their pre-eminent service facility in the region.

Also in construction is Two Trees’ first foray into the hotel world – The Wythe Hotel will be a 72-room boutique hotel in the heart of Williamsburg. The project is a painstakingly executed gut renovation of an old cooperage that has maintained the building’s historic charms and will provide guests with tremendous service along with today’s modern conveniences. The project is scheduled to open in spring, 2012.

Last year, Two Trees also completed the conversion of Gair2, a 106-unit 80/20 rental building in DUMBO which provided the neighborhood with its first affordable housing units. Starting next summer, Two Trees will commence work on Dock Street Dumbo, a several hundred thousand foot mixed use project at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge that will feature 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, plentiful parking and retail at the street grade.

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.

Private content, login to view responses.