Today’s news:

A big Domi-YES from the Council

A slightly smaller version of the Domino Sugar project will be approved, sources said.
The Brooklyn Paper

Pass the sugar!

A key Council committee unanimously approved the $1.2-billion Domino redevelopment project this afternoon — with the blessing of an anti-project Williamsburg lawmaker — thanks to a last-minute deal that would reduce the size of the project’s tallest towers yet not eliminate any affordable housing.

Susan Pollack, a member of the development team, was pleased with the compromise.

“We’re going to work on creating a beautiful, modulated design we’ve proposed,” she said. “We’ll just have to shift a few units around.”

On the eve of the landmark vote, Pollock’s Community Preservation Corporation Resources had agreed to reduce its two 40-story towers down to 34 stories, yet maintain the estimated 2,200 units of housing, including the entire 660 units of below-market-rate housing from earlier versions of the plan.

That concession did not at first appease Councilman Steve Levin (D–Williamsburg), who initially wanted the project cut by 600 units. Domino initially resisted, saying that each floor of luxury housing that is cut from the project — already expensive because much of the former sugar is a city landmark — would cost the developer $5 million.

But a last-minute plea from Mayor Bloomberg, convinced Levin to soften his stance. And Domino caved after a late petition drive by industrial landowners near the project site triggered a requirement that the Council pass the project by a supermajority instead of a simple majority. A source said that Domino supporters were worried that they might not have enough votes under the new circumstances.

After the vote, Levin said the project was better than it was when it was first introduced, but noted that “nobody can get everything they [sic] want,” during such negotiations.

“We don’t want to see a gold coast on the waterfront,” said Levin, using the same language that his mentor, Assemblyman Vito Lopez, used last week. “We weren’t happy about seeing 40-story luxury towers on the waterfront. They had a commitment for 660 affordable units and we wanted to make sure we kept them to their commitment.”

The modified plan also includes a shuttle bus provided by the developer between the project and the Marcy Avenue J-train stop, and a commitment from the Bloomberg administration to continue a tenant anti-harassment fund, launch a comprehensive transportation study for the area, and the creation of a Community Advisory Council to oversee the project through its duration.

The plan to transform the Domino sugar refinery building into 2,200 units of housing and four acres of park space on an 11.2-acre stretch of industrial property has split Williamsburg since it was first proposed six years ago and introduced earlier this year.

A two-to-one majority of Community Board 1 members voted against the plan, on the grounds that it was too massive for the area, though Borough President Markowitz supported it, and the City Planning Commission approved it unanimously with only minor modifications.

Updated 12:05 am, June 30, 2010: Update with new comments.
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Moshe Aron Kestenbaum from Williamsburg ODA says:
Vito-Low-Paz is getting a lesson now from this Judge Goodman regarding the Broadway triangle that you cant be an Eliteist and a Proletariat at the same time. Vito its time to step down and allow some fresh blood to tae charge, Your an old man already
June 29, 2010, 8:30 am
James from Williamsburg says:
If this is true, then Steve Levin has proven to be a coward. A ridiculously oversized project is still ridiculously oversized even when scaled back slightly.
June 29, 2010, 9:29 am
pal from greenpoint says:
this project is going to be a disaster. greed overwhelms reason. then again it will probably never happen. we'll have another resession or even a depression soon anyway. what a joke!?
and by the way, look what troubles we had yesterday with the heatwave and our powergrid. do we really have the capacity supply electricity to these projects without more black and brownouts. this is a joke.
not to mention what the L train wpuld have to burden.
but this probably won't ever get built. you'd be pretty stupid to invest in this project.
June 29, 2010, 10:06 am
Matt from Greenpoint says:
Is there nothing that can be done with the entire neighborhood does not want something it's infrastructure can't support.

Everyone protested those horrible glass tower atrocities that were proposed on the waterfront but they still got built.

We continue to lose more and more public space on the water front to these ugly monstrous things.

Now they want to destroy another beautiful structure and build more ugly glass structure that don't look like they belong in NYC.

And we will just sit and watch things get worse because there's nothing else we can do.
June 29, 2010, 10:22 am
John from Williamsburg says:
Come on Steve.
What type of voodoo politics are at play here?

Are you getting some sort of deferred stock options or something?
June 29, 2010, 10:25 am
pal from greenpoint says:
there isn't too much we can do because our mayor and city planner don't represent the general public's needs. they are for big development. it'a all about big business. they use their positions as "public servants" as platforms for lining their pockets.
June 29, 2010, 10:46 am
Moshe Dovid says:
I can't understand why Steve Levin caved in to the greedy developers, isn't there any honesty anymore? whats happening steve ?
June 29, 2010, 11:30 am
Jim from Williamsburg says:
Happy News! More affordable housing and the rehabilitation of abandoned industrial land. Greater access to the waterfront and more parkland. The benefits are tremendous. Good job New York City!
June 29, 2010, 11:56 am
Paco from Cobble Hill says:
anyone know what this means for the slated 1600 parking spots that's gonna make sure the area's not just buried in 34 story shadows but also vehicle congestion?
June 29, 2010, 12:03 pm
JudahSpechal from Bed-Stuy says:
You Anti's would protest the building of the Brooklyn Bridge. You ain't got no $$$ to spend, so quit tell others how to spend theirs.
June 29, 2010, 12:30 pm
Matt from Greenpoint says:
Not an Anti.

A homeowner and business owner in Williamsburg. I don't care how people spend their money but do care if something affects the neighborhood I live in. It affects my quality of life as well as my investment.

My gripe is that there doesn't seem to be any voice for the homeowners in the neighborhoods that are affected by this sort of thing.
We have this whole Councilman thing in place but that never seems to do anything... in the end money and profits trump votes... It's disheartening.

P.S. I love the Brooklyn bridge... love the Domino Sugar factory... I'm not sure if you're implying that the new constructions that are going up are of the same quality and aesthetic as those? Nowadays it's all about building the largest, cheapest type of structure in such a way where you maximize your profits. Nothing wrong with that... but sometimes cheap is expensive... and the rest of the neighborhood picks up the cost.
June 29, 2010, 1:08 pm
Matt from Greenpoint says:
Not an Anti.

A homeowner and business owner in Williamsburg. I don't care how people spend their money but do care if something affects the neighborhood I live in. It affects my quality of life as well as my investment.

My gripe is that there doesn't seem to be any voice for the homeowners in the neighborhoods that are affected by this sort of thing.
We have this whole Councilman thing in place but that never seems to do anything... in the end money and profits trump votes... It's disheartening.

P.S. I love the Brooklyn bridge... love the Domino Sugar factory... I'm not sure if you're implying that the new constructions that are going up are of the same quality and aesthetic as those? Nowadays it's all about building the largest, cheapest type of structure in such a way where you maximize your profits. Nothing wrong with that... but sometimes cheap is expensive... and the rest of the neighborhood picks up the cost.
June 29, 2010, 1:08 pm
Sid from boerum hill says:
yes I know its not my neighborhood. Now you know how some of us feel about Atlantic Yards where no local politician had any say at all and its at least twice as densely approved than Domingo Sugar. At least your council member got a some reduction. The Mayor and the Speaker of the City Council wanted this development. If you oppose them your find yourself without any power to stop anything at all. Politics is still the art of compromise: trying to get everything you want normally gets you nothing at all.
The Mayor wanted this. He and his minions called the council member in to work out a deal. He got a significant reduction. Was it enough? probably not but that is the way it is....sometimes. I'll trade you the Atlantic Yards development any day of the week for the size of the one here.
June 29, 2010, 2:36 pm
Dav from Greenpoint says:
The biggest losers are Vito Lopez and his puppet freshman Steve Levine, they are just trying to control everything its not happening…… get over it!!!!
June 29, 2010, 2:59 pm
Jake F from Jersey City says:
I imagine this is not going to turn out nearly as bad as some of you are imagining.

There are plus sides -- parts of the neighborhood that are not vibrant at this time will become more active. And an abandoned factory will become home to several thousand taxpayers.

I don't see this as bad.
June 29, 2010, 4:29 pm
Dav from Greenpoint says:
Jake F from Jersey City says:
I imagine this is not going to turn out nearly as bad as some of you are imagining.

Excelent point!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
June 29, 2010, 4:36 pm
Kevin from Willi says:
Another one bites the dust. Mr. Levin your nothing but just a little puppy and your master vito Lopez has full control over you. It's time to go out full force and lynch vito lopez. Were Chasidim are trying to live a peacfull life. Please give us back housing. were living under so much stress. Mr. Vito go back to yout neighborhood. Leave us alone.
June 29, 2010, 9:10 pm
Kevin from Willi says:
Another one bites the dust. Mr. Levin your nothing but just a little puppy and your master vito Lopez has full control over you. It's time to go out full force and lynch vito lopez. Were Chasidim are trying to live a peacfull life. Please give us back housing. were living under so much stress. Mr. Vito go back to yout neighborhood. Leave us alone.
June 29, 2010, 9:10 pm
JudahSpechal from Bed-Stuy says:
Changes, how it affects yur neighborhood & investments? Funny the artist that made that neighbor half appealing were priced out, probably you anti's priced them out. Shocking that someone with more money, can afect your plan.
June 29, 2010, 9:34 pm
matt from greenpoint says:
As someone who watched artists move into and out of the neighborhood I don't really see a fair comparison as far as far as the aesthetics and functionality of the neighborhood and waterfront are concerned.

Trying to compare someone who rents a loft in a factory vs tearing down historic factory and building an ugly glass building (that looks like it should be in miami) doesn't make any sense to me. I don't care if the housing is really expensive. I already own a home in the neighborhood so I'm not looking to buy. It's just annoying to watch something that could have become something special turn into what you see over on the west side highway...
June 29, 2010, 11:39 pm
Dav from Greenpoint says:
I will explain in short: attending at the meeting today the only winners are the people of 660 affordable housing units, noting change everything as plan the only different are the two 40 floor buildings

Will be eliminated to 34 floors, the different which is 5 floors will be deviated in the rest of the buildings project of 5 blocks radios,

Amount of housing are still the same 2.200 on touch as the plan, parking about 1600 spaces, what I understand the big losers are Vito Lopez, and Levine, and company big time!!!

After all they didn’t have a choice and just go with the plan otherwise the plan is a go... Especially Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Marty Markowitz support this project big time,

Rock bottom Williamsburg community needs housing desperately we all looking forward to this nice project /affordable housing to be ready the next three years according the plan,
June 30, 2010, 12:48 am
Matt from Greenpoint says:
Williamsburg needs housing?

There are dozens of stalled projects all over the area.
Other condos sit empty...

This is the waterfront....
June 30, 2010, 8:10 am
Lezer Huagugi from Williamsburg says:
Thanks to the leadership of organizations like United Jewish Community Advocacy Relations and Enrichment (UJcare) and Churches United for fair housing who did not cave in to the silly power demands of Vito Lopez and his stoogie Steve Levin and his Hasidic friend David Niederman!
June 30, 2010, 10:27 am
emmanel from brookyln says:
well that neighborhood was strictly made up of spanish, jewish, and polish and ever since the early 90s its started being gentrified its about time we get a piece of the pie back. i hope it does happen
Aug. 19, 2010, 11:47 am

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