Plan Unveiled for ‘New Domino’ Housing on Williamsburg Waterfront
Saying he is seeking to emphasize “what’s best about New York City, the president of Community Preservation Corporation Resources, Michael Lappin, yesterday laid out a proposal to build 2,200 housing units on the 11.2-acre site of the Domino Sugar factory on the Williamsburg waterfront.
The Domino Sugar plant on the Williamsburg waterfront in Brooklyn. A $1.3 billion plan was announced yesterday to build 2,200 housing units, including 660 priced below market rate, on the site.
Expected to cost as much as $1.3 billion and take six to eight years to complete, the project would comprise towers of varying heights, with the tallest reaching 40 stories.
Some 30%, or 660, of the new apartment units would rent at a below market rate, according to the plan. One-hundred rental units would be designated as affordable for families making about $21,000 a year; 330 for those making up to about $40,000, and 100 for seniors who make up to 50% of the median income for the area. The remaining 130 “affordable” units would be offered for purchase to families making up to $90,000 annually.
Mr. Lappin said the development would contain 120,000 square-feet of retail space, 100,000 square-feet of “community space,” and would generate an estimated 550 new jobs.
The development also represents “the first time in several generations that this part of the waterfront will be open to the public,” Mr. Lappin said, noting that it would include 4 acres of publicly accessible open space, as well as a new pier for water taxi service connecting the development, dubbed the “New Domino,” to points in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
The Domino factory’s central refinery, which is expected to be designated as a city landmark, would be preserved. Mr. Lappin said builders would “in effect scoop out of the insides of the building,” and possibly build an addition to its roof.
Preservationists have pushed to save additional buildings on the site, but under the proposal outlined yesterday developers have no plans to do so. They are exploring the possibility of saving the factory’s iconic ” Domino Sugar” sign, Mr. Lappin said.
The founder of community group El Puente, Luis Garden Acosta, said that while some in the neighborhood are unhappy with the development’s height and the added density it would foster, CPC “really has demonstrated a keen sensitivity that I haven’t found often in people who are only interested in market development.”
“It is the last, best hope for affordable housing in our community,” he said.
A session on the zoning changes required for the project will take place next week. Developers hope to complete the public review process by mid-2008 and break ground by the end of that year.
By ERIN DURKIN