A neighborhood activist who would like to derail plans for a $1.3-billion high-rise development at the old Domino Sugar site has erected a seven-story, red LED sign that screams, “SAVE DOMINO’.”
The sign, an apparent riff on the iconic yellow “Domino Sugar” sign on the Williamsburg waterfront, hangs from her building on Wythe Avenue, between South First and South Second streets.
What she would like to see is the Domino site transformed into a cultural venue akin to Tate Modern, Britain’s national museum of international modern art.
In a four-minute, 50-second presentation on YouTube.com, Stephanie Eisenberg, owner of a Williamsburg metal-working business and a staunch opponent of the recently unveiled plans for the old industrial yard, proposes preserving the entire Domino Sugar plant complex and installing within it some sort of cultural Mecca.
To back up her plan, she cites impressive economic statistics about the transformation of an old power station in London into the Tate Modern in 2000.
“If you put a cultural center there, it will produce very good union jobs, and you can put in some affordable housing, too,” said Eisenberg. “And, you’re creating a huge place for tourists to come.”
“We have not presented to the city yet,” she added. “We just got this together, and we fully intend to pursue it.”
But Richard Edmonds, a spokesman for the developer, Community Preservation Corporation Resources, doubted the idea would fly with the rest of the community.
“Ask the hard working, low-income families of Williamsburg whether they want affordable housing or the Tate Modern,” said Edmonds.
Eisenberg said the sign was her way of demonstrating support for the preservation of the entire Domino sugar site, rather than just the three buildings that are slated to be landmarked and reused in the 2,400-unit apartment complex. Thirty percent of the development will be affordable housing.
“We, the entire building, are in opposition to what is planned for that site,” said Eisenberg. “We want something that would benefit the entire community, so that the neighborhood isn’t overwhelmed by this density.”