Domino Gains Full Approval

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It comes as no surprise given that the recent approval at the committee level, but the folks at the Community Preservation Corporation must still be breaking out the champagne over yesterday’s final approval by the entire City Council of the New Domino development project. In a 45-0 vote, the Council greenlighted the massive conversion, which will transform the 11.2-acre Domino Sugar Factory site just north of the Williamsburg Bridge on the Brooklyn Waterfront into a cluster of buildings with a mix of commercial, community and residential space. In all, there will be 2,200 apartments, 600 of which will be some kind of affordable housing; the original refinery complex will also be preserved as part of the conversion and, as part of a late-game negotiation by Councilman Levin, building height will be capped at 34 stories rather than 40. The groundbreaking is scheduled for late 2011 and it’s estimated that the project will cost $1.5 billion over the next 10 years; the developer still needs to secure financing, no small matter in this environment.
Council Approves Plan for Domino Site [NY Times]
City Is Sweet on Domino Redo [WSJ]
Plan for Former Domino Sugar Site Approved [NY Post]
Plan for Former NYC Sugar Site Approved [Business Week]
Domino Construction to Start in 2011 [Curbed]
Council Gives Final Domi-YES! [Brooklyn Paper]
New Domino Gets Final Green Light [Brooklyn Eagle]
New Domino Clears Council Hurdles [Brownstoner]
Last Minute Deal to Save Domino Development [Brownstoner]
Details on the Domino Public Hearing [Brownstoner]
Domino Public Hearing Held This Morning [Brownstoner]
City Planning Approves Domino [Brownstoner]

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  • dittoburg

    Thats nice. Now perhaps Levin can follow up and chop the head off the 40-story behemoth planned for the currently 2-story North Greenpoint waterfront.

  • why does this crap have to take TEN years tho?! utterly ridiculous. nyc will probably be a beirut-like warzone in 10 years! what a waste of time.

    *rob*

  • dittoburg

    There was a pizza guy on Myrtle who used to assure my friend living in Clinton Hill that in “this place used to be like ‘Nam”

  • Why didn’t Levin fight to keep the public beach that was planned for the development on Kent and Division?

  • 660 affordable housing units (not 600). And the buildings are restricted to 34 stories, but they might still be 400′+ tall (I haven’t seen the specifics on what was agreed to, but the zoning allows 400′, regardless of number of stories).

    Ditto – the as of right for the India/Huron project is 35 stories on the water, 12 stories (approx) midblock and 6 stories on Franklin – all thanks to the 2005 rezoning. All the variance did was move 5 stories from midblock to waterfront. If Domino had approved at that zoning scale, it would still be 35-40 stories, but would have about 500 fewer housing units.

  • Totally cuts off access to the waterfront and creates a barrier from the rest of the neighborhood to the water. Don’t love it.

  • dittoburg

    WBer – I know the as of right height is already a problem! But 40 storys still has a greater psychological impact than 35.

    Personally I’d like to see it re-zoned to nothing over 4 storys. Keep the hi-rises south of Bushwick inlet.

  • There’s no access to the waterfront there now – its an abandoned factory. There hasn’t been access to the waterfront there for 160 or more years (unless you were an employee of the sugar factory). Yes, its a wall of condos better suited to create a nice view from Manhattan rather than OF Manhattan, but waterfront access (in the form of a public esplanade and connecting streets down to it) is one of the few perks the community gets out of this project.

  • Ditto – I’d go for something more than 4 on the waterfront, but way less than what was approved. As far as that variance is concerned, I think the 12-story midblock mass is more assaulting to the low scale of the neighborhood than the tower (the 12 story bit runs the full block width, as opposed to the tower which is more slender). But I get your point about the psychology of it.

    (Most assaulting is the design of the tower itself, which if it is built could vie for the title of ugliest building on the East River.)

  • “Totally cuts off access to the waterfront and creates a barrier from the rest of the neighborhood to the water. Don’t love it. ”

    there is no access to the waterfront now – but there will be after this is built

    hey, it’s opposite day!!

  • I don’t mean a boardwalk or beach or park. I mean it cuts off the light and air and creates a highrise barrier along the water.

    Hey, if you think it’s a good thing to have the entire Williamsburg waterfront lined with 35 story glass boxes, have at it.

    These are hideous in design, in my opinion.

  • I have several friends who think this design is beautiful – typical frownstoner response.

  • I am quite sure some people will like the design.

    There are people who bought at Northside Piers too. And the 100′s of other monstrosities all over the neighborhood.

    No accounting for taste. Some people think brownstones are ugly. I’m just giving my opinion.

    I like Brooklyn because of its low-rise community feel with a sense of light, air, trees, etc. I guess some want Williamsburg to just turn into an extension of Manhattan. That’s cool…that’s exactly why I don’t want to live there.

  • I think the design is fine (and as far as I know, I’m not one of d_h’s friends). I just wish there were a lot fewer units and more open space for the community.

  • It’s also rather ridiculous to call me a frownstoner, when I probably am more on optimistic about most things here than 95% of people on this blog.

    I just don’t like uninspired 35 story buildings usually. Especially in low rise neighborhoods.

  • the project is HUGE
    There is not one tower, there are many all along the waterfront all tightly packed and dense
    There will also be a small patch of grass that is for the community along with some trees – thanks but its not nearly enough for me to like the project –
    unfortunately i live nearby

  • “I just don’t like uninspired 35 story buildings usually. Especially in low rise neighborhoods. ”

    You like the ones in DoBro just fine.

  • 11217 – WBer is correct – i mean, this giant giant factory is already there, not nothing?

    and, who are the people getting cut off from light and air? it’s not like there’s tons of residential just east of the factory now. Wber is also correct, that the Domino will create actual riverfront park, pier and stores on the river. that’s a good thing! no one has access to in front of the factory now. also, remember that the southside from the river to marcy has pockets of kinda ghetto residential – it’s not like UES pristine apt buildings or townhouses. i see domino bringing in more reasonable citizens to the entire area with folks who want to live in a nicely maintained hood. i’ll be happy to wave bye bye to people who don’t clean up their garbage, curb their dogs or maintain their buildings.

    anyway, it’s a no man’s land at and around domino, everyone always wants prices to come down and more housing, well how do you provide that with abandoned factories and commercial buildings?

    A great majority of Chicago’s lake front is wall to wall hi-rise buildings with low rise apt buildings and single families just west of those, and everyone accepts and they should! shouldn’t new york have wonderful buildings on the east river? shouldn’t we have apts with amazing views of the water and manhattan? how is that worse than urban blight?

    anyway, i still say a moratorium on domino until it’s at least a tad real.

  • Yes, Dh…you know Dobro stands for DOWNTOWN, correct?

    Tall towers in a downtown makes total sense to me and is where towers belong. I don’t feel that they belong along the waterfront here. This project is massive and puts up a barrier to the rest of the low scale neighborhood around it.

    I would also be opposed to towers along the water in Brooklyn Heights as they had once planned for the park. Good to see that the idea seems to be tabled for now and it’s become a luxurious and spectacular park, as the waterfront should be for ALL to enjoy.

    Like I said…I’m glad you seem to love it….it’s your hood so you should have more say as to what happens in it. If I lived there, I’d be very disappointed with this particular scheme with so many tall towers. Not to mention 2200 new units of housing will put an enormous burden on the already overcrowded subway and other services in that area.

  • dittoburg

    “it’s your hood so you should have more say as to what happens in it.”

    Not gonna happen, most are apathetic here and the organized groups mantra is “affordable housing”, the quality of life, air and space concerns of the current residents are well down the list.

  • I don’t love this project, and I agree with your entire last paragraph.

    I would much prefer it if the entire project was low rise – perhaps a bunch of buildings the height of 80 Met.

    I’m also a realist, and understand developers are in the money making business, and when you spend millions of dollars for waterfront land facing the most recognizable skyline in the world, it makes financial sense to build big and capitalize on that.

    The neighborhood got screwed over a long time ago when zoning was changed to allow buildings of this size.

    Bottom line – in 10 years it will be more pleasant to walk around here than it is today.

  • and you’ll need a kayak to get to work in Manhattan

  • more4less

    nice. high quality looking bldgs.

    any chance NYC slaps a fancy wraparound park here or those goodies only for the Heights?

  • dittoburg

    to be clear – I’m fine with Williamsburg being hi-rise. I don’t want the canker to spread to Greenpoint thats all.