Monday, March 4, 2013

Walentas New Domino Sugar Factory Plan Dramatic Improvement to CPC Plan on Williamsburg Waterfront

Two Trees' plan for the Domino Sugar Refinery site in Williamsburg. Courtesy of ShoP Architects
A dramatic skyline with unusually designed "open" buildings could rise at the old Domino Sugar Factory site in Williamsburg, part of a new plan for the Brooklyn waterfront which will add more green space, recreational facilities and an office building to older plans for a residential development on the site.

Two Trees Management, which bought the old factory site from Community Preservation Corp. (CPC), told reporters on Friday they were dissatisfied with the small amount of green waterfront space in the original plans.

Original Community Preservation Corp. plan. Rafael Vinoly
The new design opens the solid wall (shown above) originally planned for the site.

The Two Trees plan will increase the waterfront park and improve access by extending the street grid right into the park. One of the high-rise buildings slated to be built by CPC would be removed and replaced by a public “Domino Square.” Retail spaces will target small, local retailers and not big-box stores, Jed Walentas, principal for Two Trees told the Brooklyn Eagle.

And while the previous proposal had the affordable-housing units in a separate building, further away from the waterfront, Two Trees plans to integrate them with the market-rate units in the same buildings.

The new plan will also include an elementary school, as well as a YMCA.

Because the plan has been substantially revised, it will have to go again through the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP).

Justin Davidson writes in New York Magazine, "It’s hard to argue that [Walentas'] motivator is greed, since the new proposal whittles away some market-rate apartments, keeps all the affordable units, adds less-profitable offices, shuts out megaretailers in favor of small stores, and increases the open public space by almost 60 percent. Maybe Walentas really wants what he says he wants: a round-the-clock New Dumbo."

UPDATE: Here are some negative thoughts on the proposed development. TRD

Previous posts:
- Walentas To Pay $185M for Domino Sugar Site
- Holding a Bake Sale to Save Domino Sugar Plant

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Anonymous said...

How is this an improvement?

Good Lord! Like Miami not Brooklyn.

Tall buildings for the rich blocking out the city for the rest of us.

mcbrooklyn said...

Misspoke -- meant to say, big improvement over previous PLAN for the Williamsburg waterfront. Assuming something has to go there in this land of developers, we went from solid wall of buildings to airy layout and extra parkland.