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Developers Get Local Support for Heightened Towers at Domino Site

By Meredith Hoffman | November 15, 2013 9:03am
 Two Trees showed renderings of the bird's eye view of the proposed Domino Sugar Factory site at a meeting Wednesday night.
Two Trees showed renderings of the bird's eye view of the proposed Domino Sugar Factory site at a meeting Wednesday night.
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DNAinfo/Meredith Hoffman

WILLIAMSBURG — A proposal to build towers 195 feet taller than originally planned at the former Domino Sugar Factory site won overwhelming support from residents and local leaders, who praised the project's addition of affordable housing, open space, local retail and offices.

The adjusted proposal by Two Trees Management Company — which was unveiled this spring and would triple Williamsburg's total office space — would heighten the tallest building on the water, but it would prevent a "monotonous wall of buildings" and instead form a line of varied structures for "a great moment in the center of the Brooklyn skyline," the developers said in a presentation Wednesday night.

And a crowd of residents at the Williamsburg Community Board 1 meeting said the new plan's provisions for waterfront access, local jobs, and affordable housing showed developers had actually considered the neighborhood's needs.

"This is an exciting expression of a revitalized Brooklyn," according to letter from Brooklyn Brewery founder Stephen Hindy that was read by a brewery representative at the meeting. The brewer praised the added commercial space and said Two Trees had been unlike any other North Brooklyn developer by consulting the community so closely.

The new plan, for which Two Trees is seeking approval from the city in a ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure) Process, would heighten one tower from 430 feet to 535 feet, but it would eliminate one of the towers from the project's previous plan, which was already approved in 2010.

"Trading some additional height for open space is something many community members told us is a welcome gesture because of the area's lack of parkland and a desire to open up access and views to the water," the developers wrote in their presentation on the plan.

The new proposal would also add more than 504,000 square feet of commercial space, adding 2,700 jobs to the area. The project would also spread the development's affordable housing throughout the buildings, add about five more acres of parkland, and preserve the Domino Sugar Factory refinery and convert it into a commercial building, developers said.

"I have a great deal of respect for Two Trees," a spokesman for local Assemblyman Joseph Lentol read of Lentol's letter at the meeting, and noted that the additional affordable housing was the most important part of the new plan.

Labor unions, affordable housing groups, the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance and other advocacy organizations have also praised the adjusted plan.