New plans that change the Brooklyn skyline and impact a whole neighborhood are being rolled out for the waterfront site that includes the landmark Domino Sugar building. NY1's Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.
A dramatic new skyline next to the Williamsburg Bridge is part of the plan for this Brooklyn waterfront. It includes housing, a park, a school and, as its centerpiece, a creative and tech-based commercial hub in the defunct Domino Sugar plant.
"We're really trying to celebrate that building," said Vishaan Chakrabarti, principal of SHoP Architects. "The other thing that's interesting is, in this plan, about double the amount of people will work on this site than when Domino Sugar was active in 1959 or 1960."
Domino closed its doors for good in 2004 after producing sugar in the landmark building since the 1880s. A controversial plan to turn it into condos was approved in 2010, but the property changed hands in October.
Two Trees Management Company acquired it and went back to the drawing board, creating a revised plan first reported on TV by NY1.
"The existing plan has about 3-million-square-feet of built space, and our plan is very much in the same ballpark," said Jed Walentas of Two Trees Management Company. "With that amount of density being imposed on this neighborhood, it's going to have an impact. What we tried to do is improve the quantity and quality of the open space to make the architecture much more transparent, to let light and air back in the community, and let them experience that waterfront."
The plans calls for opening a street grid, allowing the public access to a waterfront esplanade, converting a building into open space, and creating street space for local shops, including about 660 affordable housing units among the 2,200, spread throughout the residential buildings.
Adding a big commercial component, nearly 600,000-square-feet of office space, is similar to what Two Trees did when developing DUMBO.
"We think that one of the things that have made DUMBO so successful is the vitality and energy that come from the commercial office space," Walentas said. "And bringing jobs back to this waterfront, I think, is a great, great, great thing."
The project, which costs more than $1 billion, would take about 15 years to complete.
The plan still needs to go through the public review process. Two Trees hopes that gets underway this spring.