Domino Sugar Factory Development Will Overburden Local Infrastructure, Says Zoning Comittee

April 2, 2014

Two Trees Management’s sweet deal with the city for the former Dominos Sugar factory site could cause a toothache for the City Council and local residents. The historic complex, with its charming yellow sign, has been part of Brooklyn’s landscape since 1882, when it opened as the largest sugary refinery in the world. Now plans for the 2.2 million-square-foot multi-use project, designed by SHoP Architects, are causing concern that it could house more people than the Brooklyn neighborhood can handle.

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While planned redevelopment of the landmarked Domino Sugar factory promises sweeping waterfront views of Manhattan to thousands of new apartment dwellers starting in 2021, concern about overcrowding its Williamsburg environs has left a sour taste in the mouths of the zoning committee of the City Council.

In March of 2014 the City Planning Commission approved plans for the $1.5 billion redevelopment with the caveat that developer Two Trees Management increase the amount of affordable housing to 700 below-market-rate units. While this number is 40 more than what was originally offered by Two Trees — and 260 more than what had been approved under an earlier plan — the concession gives the developer the right to build towers of up to 55 stories — about 20 stories higher than current zoning allows.

The City Council isn’t buying it — and neither are local residents, who are making their voices heard through grassroots efforts such as “Save Domino” and even a petition on

Skeptical of promises that Two Trees plans to build fewer units than zoning allows, the Council sees the opportunity for 3,000 units as a real possibility, a number considerably above the 2,300 cap they would like to see the developer commit to. In addition, there is also concern the 700 affordable housing units Two Trees has promised isn’t sufficient.

For now, though the project still needs City Council approval to move forward, Two Trees is full steam ahead with their vision to reposition the site as vibrant mix of residential, retail, office and waterfront open space offering a home sweet home for some, but potentially a toothache that won’t go away for others.

[Via The Real Deal]

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