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The first few rows of windows are going in at Two Trees’ Dock Street Dumbo project, which will include a 17-story apartment building and a school. The glassy tower at 60 Water Street will house 290 rentals, 58 of which will be affordable. Affordable rents range from $538 for a studio to $893 for two-bedrooms, as we reported when the housing lottery opened in February.

There will also be a shorter seven-story building and a 50,000-square-foot, 300-seat public middle school. Designed by Ismael Levya Architects and LEESER Architecture, the development is so close to the bridge that you could probably “tag it from the Brooklyn Bridge,” as McBrooklyn points out.

Two Trees’ 60 Water in Dumbo Now Taking Applications for Affordable Housing [Brownstoner]

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The Water Street Apartments at 60 Water Street in Dumbo are now taking applications for affordable units there. Construction on the Two Trees development, known as Dock Street Dumbo, started in 2012. The 18-story mixed-use development will have 300 rental units in total, including 58 affordable units. The affordable units will range from studios to two-bedrooms.

Monthly rents will start at $538 for a studio and go up as high as $893 for some two-bedroom units, according to an email sent out by Community Board Two. Income caps range from approximately $23,000 a year for a studio to $42,000 a year for a family of four. Applications must be postmarked by April 7. For more information, or to download an application, go to http://www.phippsny.org/page/135.

Steel up at Dock Street Development [Brownstoner]
Rendering via Curbed

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Two Trees’ Domino proposal has cleared another level of the land use review process. On the last day of the year, Tuesday, outgoing Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz approved the plan along with a few minor modifications, such as variances for zoning, commercial space and affordable housing.

“We are extremely grateful for Borough President Markowitz’s support for the Domino Sugar project over the past year and approval of our plans this week,” said Two Trees’ Jed Walentas in an emailed statement. “We look forward to working with new Borough President Eric Adams and Brooklyn leaders over the next few years to bring more affordable housing, local jobs, and much needed public open space to South Williamsburg.”

Next up, Domino will need approval from the City Planning Commission and the City Council to get full ULURP certification.

Domino Coverage [Brownstoner]
Rendering by SHoP Architects

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Some of the members of the Landmarks Preservation Commission didn’t like the proposed glass addition atop the landmarked 1880s Domino Sugar Refinery factory at Tuesday’s public hearing, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported. However, the commissioners support Two Trees’ plan to convert the factory into office space. The rendering by architects Beyer Blinder Belle, above, shows a four-story, glass-covered addition facing the East River; there is a three-story addition on the other side of the property.

The plan calls for the iconic yellow Domino Sugar sign to sit on top of the building, along with smaller versions of the sign above street-level entrances. Commissioners objected to the “height and massing” of the addition, according to the Eagle. Confusingly, a previous proposal from the site’s former developers already approved by Landmarks also included a four-story glass addition on top of the building, according to the Eagle.

“The proposal before the Commission today contains more square footage than the prior approval due to the retention of the building’s core and a second rooftop addition,” said the Historic Districts Council’s Nadezhda Williams. But not everyone hated it: Commission chair Robert Tierney called the design “extremely appropriate and impressive,” Curbed reported. The adaptive reuse of the red brick factory at 292-314 Kent Avenue is just a small part of Two Trees’ $1,500,000,000 development plan for the Domino site, which also includes retail, a new office building, and high-rise residential buildings with 2,200 apartments.

Domino Factory Makeover Plan Must be Refined [Brooklyn Eagle]
Domino Coverage [Brownstoner]
Rendering by Beyer Blinder Belle via Brooklyn Daily Eagle

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The City Planning Commission is expected to certify Two Trees’ plans for the Domino Sugar refinery this afternoon, Crain’s reports. Developer Jed Walentas of Two Trees scrapped the ULURP-approved plans for the site, which were originally drawn up by previous developer CPC Resources. The new SHoP-designed proposal promises an overhaul of the landmarked Domino building and four new buildings with 2,300,000 square feet of residential space, 500,000 square feet of offices and 70,000 square feet of retail. Once City Planning certifies the plan, it will still have to undergo a new ULURP process with several levels of public review. Demolition started on some of the smaller buildings in the complex earlier this month, and Two Trees told Crain’s they hope to break ground on the development in late 2014.

Starting Gun Looms for Domino Sugar [Crain’s]

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A tall construction fence went up around the Domino Sugar Factory site in Williamsburg last week and demo at the northern end of the site has begun. Last week, Two Trees updated community leaders via a letter and put up a website where it will post updates about the project every two weeks.

The Refinery building, the historic brick structure that is topped by the iconic Domino sign, was landmarked in 2007 and is not at risk of being torn down. DOB approved demo permits for buildings at 2 Grand Street and 314 Kent Avenue in September. In August, as reported, Two Trees said demo could start as early as September.

The creation of a large mixed-use conversion envisioned by former owners CPC was approved back in 2010; Two Trees bought the 11-acre site back in October of 2012 and in March released its $1.5 billion plan for the waterfront property, which features 2,284 apartments and 631,240 square feet of office space. The plan still needs to go through the uniform land use review procedure (ULURP).

Opponents of the project have said Domino should finish the land review process before beginning any demo and wondered why the demo filings say “the scope of work does not require related asbestos abatement as defined in the regulations of the NYC DEP” when a 2010 environmental impact study said that asbestos was found “throughout the facility” and that an “additional survey and abatement would be required to remove all asbestos-containing materials prior to demolition of the buildings and redevelopment of the project site.”

The non-landmarked buildings on this site are going to come down one way or another because of the 2010 approval. The asbestos abatement of the entire site took six months and was completed in September.

Two Trees Gets Demo Permit for Domino [Brownstoner]
Two Trees’ Ambitious New Proposal for Domino [Brownstoner]

 

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Today the Times has an article focusing on Two Trees’ current project in Dumbo, the conversion of 30 Washington Street into about 100 rentals. The article has details about the various other projects that have opened in Dumbo and Vinegar Hill recently, but back to 30 Washington:

[David] Walentas said Dumbo had come a long way since his earliest visits, more than 30 years ago, when he first saw the 30 Washington Street building, owned at the time by Helmsley-Spear. “That was a vacant building and had a for-sale sign on it,” he recalled. “I said to the broker: ‘Well, somebody should buy the whole neighborhood. One building, it’s tough to make a difference.’ He said, ‘We own the whole neighborhood — we’ll sell it to you.’ ” They did, in a deal worth $12 million for two million square feet. Since then, Mr. Walentas said, “It’s been quite a trip.”

The story also notes that Two Trees plans to begin work on its 400-unit-plus-school Dock Street project in July.
Condo or Rental, It’s New in Dumbo [NY Times]
30 Washington Street Conversion Begins [Dumbo NYC]
LPC Approves Rooftop Addition at 30 Washington [Brownstoner] GMAP

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The addition on the former textile factory on North 11th Street that Two Trees is developing into a hotel is now on display in all its glassy glory. A teaser website has gone up for the hotel, which will be called the Wythe and is supposed to open by May.
Wythe Hotel [Official Site]
Walentas Williamsburg Hotel Will Open by May 1st and Probably be Called ‘The Wythe’ [Brownstoner]
Development Watch: Two Trees Williamsburg Hotel [Brownstoner]
Walentas Hotel Conversion Gets Airier [Brownstoner]
Work Underway at Walentas Hotel [Brownstoner]
Walentas Hotel Awarded Tax-Free Funds [Brownstoner] GMAP