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Marty says Domi-YES!

Borough President Markowitz has come out in favor of the "ambitious" Domino Sugar plan.
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Borough President Markowitz backed the controversial Domino Sugar redevelopment last Friday, praising the $2-billion condo plan at the abandoned waterfront refinery as “ambitious” and “vibrant” — even as he ordered up a few minor tweaks.

Overall, however, it was sweet relief for the Community Preservation Corporation, which hopes to turn the decrepit former factory into 2,200 units of housing, 30 percent of which would be set aside at below-market rates.

If his tweaks are accepted, Markowitz said, “I will proudly say to Domino, Domi-YES!”

“This plan celebrates Brooklyn’s waterfront and understands the need for affordable housing,” the Beep added.

Markowitz’s conditions included the elimination of 782 parking spaces, a small trim to one of the project’s tallest towers, and a guarantee that the developer’s commitment to affordability is permanent.

He also demanded a supermarket on site and called on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to beef up service to handle what is expected to be tens of thousands of new residents along the Kent Avenue corridor in the next 10 years — the fruit of a 2005 upzoning that encouraged just this type of development.

Community Preservation Corporation Resources President Michael Lappin was delighted with Markowitz’s backing, saying that the Beep supported the company’s “balanced approach” to mixed-use development.

“Maintaining that responsible balance, including maximum affordability, parks and open space, access to the waterfront ... is fundamental to the New Domino,” said Lappin.

Since 2004, developers Community Preservation Corporation Resources and the Katan Group have sought to transform the 11.2-acre industrial property containing the landmarked factory into a 2,200-unit residential and retail behemoth.

Markowitz’s support is the first real good for the project as it has made its way through the public-review process. Community Board 1 rejected it by a two-to-one margin in March, and Councilman Steve Levin (D-Williamsburg) has made it clear that he does not support the project — and his vote will be key as the development seeks a final approval from the Council later this spring.

Locals’ reactions to Markowitz’s “yes” recommendation were mixed.

“Marty is inconsistently consistent,” said Williamsburg activist Phil DePaolo. “All these ‘yes with alterations’ are basically what the community board wanted. We’re confused why Marty didn’t stay with the board and vote no. All the City Planning Commission is going to see is the Borough President saying ‘yes.’

“The only way to get any improvements to the project is to vote against it,” he added. “You have to fight.”

But Community Board 1 member Rob Solano praised Markowitz for emphasizing affordable housing and job creation over density and infrastructure as the neighborhood’s most pressing need.

“It is finally good to see someone take the responsibility to build what is needed in Williamsburg,” said Solano. “How sweet it is.”

Updated 6:15 pm, April 14, 2010: Eliminated a Ward Dennis quote in favor of a Phil DePaolo quote. Ain't technology grand?
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Reader Feedback

KG from Marine Park Brooklyn says:
It's wonderful that Marty Markowitz is innovative in restoration of water front properties and beautifying neighborhoods. I would love to see along the water front from Coney Island to Crossbay Blvd, on the water, beautiful, creative and delicious food restaurants for those living in those neighborhoods, bringing up the value to these once beautifully, safe, and family oriented places.
Another issue I do have, those developers in it for the money, not for the well being and safety of neighborhoods are creating block like buildings, taking the character of those neighborhoods away, taking air rights away, and creating more crime invested areas. There does need to be a restriction for developers coming into family oriented neighborhoods, tearing down one to two family dwellings to build from six to sixty family complexes! Where does the greed stop? When can Brooklyn see the beauty in a "once upon a time" family oriented neighborhood, where neighbors knew the children of all surrounding them and protected them.
Greed, no morals, values or care for the well being of others!
Please change things for the betterment and safety of the neighborhoods, not just for the money.
You can build bugalows along the waterfronts for rent, buying as condominiums, etc.
April 10, 2010, 10:22 am
david from sunset park says:
Poor Mr. Markowitz. He still seems to think it's 2005. Not for the rest of us.
April 10, 2010, 12:11 pm
Dav from Greenpoint says:
Again this freshmen boy Levin is trying to play politics! O-no not this time!! In politics you have to know the game elections is around the corner,
We all know that your big boss (size) is Vito Lopez is having control on you as much as he can,
It’s about time to become independent for your self not being a puppet from Lopez and do some nice things for your people at the 33rd district,
The way you are going its dose not looking to good at all! Keep going you will be out of office soon..
April 11, 2010, 1:19 am
Boris from Bay Ridge says:
Three cheers for Marty's support for public transit around the complex. Overbuilding parking spaces while underfunding transit is a classic government strategy, which Marty has spoken out against.

Whatever his reasons are, I applaud him. Now he just needs to put the money where his mouth is and support increased city funding for the MTA services he wants.
April 12, 2010, 10:19 am
Jeff from Williamsburg says:
I, too, respect Marty's condemnation of the excessive parking. When the details of this project were first announced, I liked everything about it except for the excessive parking. So while I never thought I would find myself saying this, I think Marty and I actually had a similar reaction to this development.
April 12, 2010, 11 am
mam from cobble hill says:
I'm glad I don't live anywhere near there. 2,200 units of new housing is dense!
April 14, 2010, 4:37 pm

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