A landmark development
Plans to build much-needed housing, including apartments for low- and middle-income New Yorkers, on the Domino Sugar site in Brooklyn have gotten a major boost from the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. How sweet it is.
Based on a wise agreement between historic preservationists and the project’s sponsor, the commission granted landmark status to parts of the 11-acre waterfront site so remnants of the sugar factory will be incorporated into the housing – without making the development economically impossible.
Built before the Brooklyn Bridge, the Domino factory churned out sugar for nearly 150 years before closing in 2004. The Community Preservation Corp., a nonprofit builder, proposed replacing the crumbling buildings with housing. But preservationists, led by the Municipal Art Society, defended the hulks.
Then, in a model of civic cooperation, they compromised. Only the three oldest buildings on the site will be landmarked. The corporation will build 2,200 residences, 660 of them with affordable rents. It also plans to create a park that will give the public access to the waterfront for the first time in more than a century. And the group is planning to find a place for the Domino sign that’s a familiar sight on the East River.
All without rancor or lawsuits. Good work all around.