Yesterday we reported that the city had struck a deal with the developer of the Domino Sugar factory site that would bring some 700 units of affordable housing to the Williamsburg waterfront. Here now is our handy-dandy chart showing differences between the previous developer’s plan, the current developer’s Bloomberg-era plan, and the plan that will be put to the City Planning Commission’s vote this week.
You’ll notice substantial changes between the CPC Resources plan, approved by the city in 2010, and the glitzy new plan that Two Trees pushed after acquiring the property for $185 million in 2012. Two Trees had proposed a substantially larger amount of commercial office space, less residential space, and more public open space.
The Two Trees plan that was certified in November originally promised less affordable housing (437,243 sq. ft.) than the CPCR plan had aspired to, though Two Trees said throughout the city’s public review process that it was amenable to bringing that number up to CPRC’s original goal of 502,000 square feet. The final deal will deliver some 537,000 sq. ft. of affordable housing. That isn’t as much as the 550,000 that the city reportedly wanted, but it’s more than the previous developer had promised. And, unlike the previous developer’s plan, these units will be legally bound to be permanently affordable.
So what’s not shown in this chart? Well, The Times points out that Two Trees “will also be able to charge higher rents for some of the affordable units in the project than he would have previously.” Yesterday, a source familiar with the negotiations told us that, on average, the affordable units would cater to residents making 70 percent of the Area Median Income. Representatives of Two Trees and the Mayor’s office said they were satisfied with that number, arguing that Williamsburg needs moderately priced housing as well as low-income housing. But opponents of the plan say it’s too high.
At least one member of the City Council, which will vote on the plan after the City Planning Commission has its crack at it this week, isn’t sold on it just yet. According to the Wall Street Journal Antonio Reynoso has “concerns about the size of the affordable units, income levels of those who would live there and local hiring for the project.”