New Domino is just too big

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Last week, the City Planning Commission approved the redevelopment of the historic Domino Sugar factory by CPC Resources, the for-profit subsidiary of the Community Preservation Corporation, and the Katan Group, a luxury housing developer.

It is an 11-acre, 2.7-million-square-foot project consisting of approximately 2,400 units of housing, as well as retail and commercial space. We agree that the redevelopment of this former manufacturing site is essential to the future of the Brooklyn waterfront, but we share many concerns about the scope of the proposed project.

This community needs, and this community has repeatedly asked for, affordable housing as part of a responsible development plan.

But simply put, the New Domino is too big.

The developer must find a way to reduce the height and bulk while maintaining the affordable housing components of this project.

For a community that is grappling with rapid gentrification and displacement, it is essential that we address the issues that may further harm the Williamsburg neighborhood. The proposed height and density of this project significantly dwarfs other developments in the area. The developer intends to construct four towers along the waterfront, ranging in height from 300 feet to 400 feet. The community needs true access to its waterfront areas, not a row of 40-story towers walling Williamsburg off from the East River.

Once completed, the project will add an astounding 7,000 new residents. Taken together with the other recent development projects that have been approved along the waterfront, there stands to be upwards of 15,000 new residents — and that number is growing. That is a 25-percent increase in population for the half-mile surrounding the site.

Such a dramatic increase will severely tax the community’s existing infrastructure. The nearest subway station is about 15 blocks away from the development. For those residents who can make the trek to Marcy or Bedford avenues, they are faced with overcrowded trains, yet the developer has routinely dismissed the notion that thousands of additional residents will burden the local infrastructure.

Despite repeated requests for the developers to address infrastructure concerns, CPC has not made any plan to update the sewer systems, alleviate subway and bus overcrowding or answer substantive concerns about the creation of hazardous conditions.

As the New Domino development moves to the Council for a hearing on Monday, we hope that the developer will listen to Williamsburg. We seek a reasonable compromise that would allow the development of the vacant site, but balance concerns about height, density, and infrastructure.

Vito Lopez is an assemblyman and Steve Levin is a councilman whose district includes the Domino site. Lopez’s district is adjacent.

Updated 5:18 pm, July 9, 2018: An earlier version of this story had an error about the location of Vito Lopez's district.
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Reasonable discourse

Dav from Willamsburg says:
Again again and again… this freshmen Levine is just a puppet from his buss Vito Lopez, this big project is a big accomplishment for our community
660 affordable units are 30%. according New York City rules and regulations should be only 20% we need housing desperately
As you all see mayor Bloomberg, Brooklyn Borough President, and city planning are for the plan big time,
The only problem is that Domino owners doesn’t like to be controlled by Lopez-Levine and his company, they are just trouble makers! They don’t like
That Hamish people should get big and nice affordable apartments... Let’s support this Domino project so we will have a better and bigger live style
We all wish Domino owners lots of luck… Go Domino Go!!!
June 18, 2010, 9:53 am
Keith from Willamsburg says:
The project is a great thing. All of the williamsburg waterfront should immediately be rezoned, which will rejuvenate the area, create jobs, increase values.

Quit your foolish whining....
June 18, 2010, 9:56 am
Attorney at Law from Greenpoint says:
I am an attorney familiar with zoning in this area. I fully support the Domino Project because it will lead to a revitalization of the waterfront, written about in papers as "the next gold coast."

Property values will rise, jobs will be created, and a blighted community will become alive.

These politicians are misguided.
June 18, 2010, 10 am
Dan from Bushwick says:
What can be wrong if some developer wants to spend 2 Billion dollars and build housing? To oppose that it is only because the Low-Pez clan wants to extort from the developers something that they don't want to give !
June 18, 2010, 10:02 am
Katy from Greenpoint says:
Typical, when Uncle Vito doesn't get his cut it's automatically a bad deal and Levine has always been a Lopez Krony so no surprises here.
June 18, 2010, 10:02 am
pal from greenpoint says:
i love when these creeps mention affordable housing and how it's going to benefit the community.
what a joke! amanda burden is not really a city planner even though that's her title. she's a wealthy socialite with a couple of degrees who is more interested in real estate than planning a city that serves everyone's needs. her agenda is elitist. that's why our elitist mayor appointed her. she's a shill for developers. the domino plan is way too big - way out of scale. something much much smaller and some parklands would be nice. people love brooklyn for what it is. we don't want manhattan over here. we don't want another ugly battery park city in brooklyn.
June 18, 2010, 10:07 am
Matt from Greenpoint says:
Density is good in urban environments! It creates vitalit and every apartment represents acres of less sprawl and fewer cars on the road. I won't vote for levin and will tell others not to as well.
June 18, 2010, 10:08 am
Liz from Greenpoint says:
Vito Lopez is an assemblyman and Steve Levin is a councilman. Their districts both include the Domino site….
That’s not thru at all!!!lier lier!!! He is not our assemblyman; our assemblyman is j.Lentol check the map and proofs your self,
Can’t you see Lopez is just trying to control everything as all ways, its time to show him the waterfront just jump in the lake!!
We all need affordable housing big time… and for you Mr. Lopez and his poppet freshman Levine get your self a real job!!! If you can’t fight them join them…….
June 18, 2010, 10:41 am
moshe aaron kestinbaum from ODA says:
I am very surprise the Steve Levine is handling situations he is against Rose Plaza, Domino, etc. we call this starting with his left foot in wrong direction!!
We all understand he is still a puppet of his buss Vito Low-Paz and his company; it’s about time to be independent and be the men!! And prove
You’re self that you our person that can make it happen...
June 18, 2010, 10:50 am
Gail from Greenpoint says:
While I am suspect of anything Vito Lopez puts his name on, I do think the scope of the project is way too big. Hello - does anyone on this comment board take a subway during rush hour? I have to wait 30 minutes for a L train. Last time I took the JMZ it was nearly the same. G is getting TERRIBLE.
Without an expansion to our subway, addition of express buses or something - we're going to suffocate just trying to go to work.
I don't see anything about transportation or addressing that issue at all - which is the issue one for me.
June 21, 2010, 10:50 am
Ben from Greenpoint says:
Just letting you know the water taxi will provide faster and better service, problem salved.....
June 21, 2010, 11 am
mike from williamsburg says:
Also - lets focus on the architecture and building quality structures. That is the legacy we leave to future generations.
The new waterfront buildings are pretty bland - lets build something that really dazzles the skyline and adds to the quality of life for all.
June 22, 2010, 9:20 am

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