The City Council approved the plan to redevelop the site of the Domino Sugar refinery this afternoon, making way for one of the most ambitious developments in North Brooklyn’s history.
The mixed-used development will occupy close to three million square feet of space along Williamsburg’s waterfront, and include approximately 2,200 units of housing, 480,000 square feet of office space, 110,000 square feet of retail space, and 143,000 square feet of “community facility” space, including the area’s newest pre-K school.
The buildings, slated to be 55 stories high, will be 15 stories taller than anything along the waterfront.
During recent months, the city negotiated to get more affordable units built on the site in exchange for letting Two Trees build taller buildings than what the previous developer’s plan — approved nearly four years ago to this day — had called for. The final agreement involves giving Two Trees tax-exempt financing for building 538,000 square feet of affordable housing, which — on average — will be available to those making about $60,000 or less.
The units, which will be spread throughout the buildings, will also be permanently affordable, something that various Council members applauded.
“It was not a given that the units will be permanently affordable,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.
“There were many concessions that were made by the developer and the city, most importantly to make sure the affordable levels match what is affordable of this particular community,” said Council Member David Greenfield, chair of the land use committee.
There were words of caution about how the mega development will impact the neighborhood. Council member Ellen Rosenthal warned that a sudden influx of 5,000 residents will mean that the area will need a new public school, library and additional transportation options to accommodate demand.
“The reality is that it’s going to completely swamp and overwhelm the public services in the area,” she said. “The district is going to desperately need it.”
With the Domino Sugar Factory days officially numbered, you might want to head down there soon to check out Kara Walker’s installation inside the factory.