New Year, New Domino



Yesterday, the City Planning Commission certified the application for the New Domino project.  The project, when approved, will permit the redevelopment of the formerly-industrial Domino Sugar factory site on the Brooklyn waterfront as a vibrant, mixed-use development.

The Applicant, The Refinery LLC (a subsidiary of Community Preservation Corporation Resources, a long-standing developer and financer of affordable housing) proposes to develop five new mixed-use buildings on the 11-acre former sugar factory site, as well as adaptively reuse the Refinery building, a central structure in the existing complex.  The Refinery was landmarked in 2007, three years after American Sugar Refining (who acquired Domino Sugar in 2001) ceased operations on the site.  CPCR proposes to set aside a total of 30 percent of the project’s proposed 2200 units as affordable to low and moderate income families.  The depth and level of affordability as well as the overall number of units provided will exceed what is required by the city’s Inclusionary Housing program and is intended to reach lower income segments of the community than are being served elsewhere.

Picture1The proposed buildings, designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects (the addition and reuse of the Refinery was done by Beyer Blinder Belle), would contain a mixture of residential, retail/commercial, and community facility uses, and are generally modeled after the density of the 2005 Greenpoint-Williamsburg rezoning in terms of height and density.  However, the project differs from those built under Greenpoint-Williamsburg in that more affordable housing is provided and more open space is proposed.  The project will include approximately four acres of publicly-accessible open space, designed by Quennell Rothschild & Partners, and will open pedestrian and visual corridors along each of the east-west streets to the East River, allowing visual and public access to the waterfront for the first time in over a century.

Due to the project’s large size and complexity, it requires a number of city approvals, including rezoning (the site is currently zoned for heavy manufacturing use, and will be rezoned to a mix of residential and commercial districts), special permits to waive height and bulk controls, and authorizations to permit modifications to City Planning’s waterfront zoning requirements.  Yesterday’s certification was the beginning of the 7-month public review process (“ULURP”).

As the applicant’s representative, we will of course be watching this very closely as it moves forward.  Stay tuned for updates!

The New Domino