Sugar rush: Public park on old Domino factory campus nears completion ahead of June debut

Sugar rush: Public park on old Domino factory campus nears completion ahead of June debut
Two Trees

This sweet green space is almost ready!

The new East River–facing park within the megadevelopment rising at Williamburg’s old Domino Sugar campus opens next month, the builder behind it announced.

The so-called Domino Park, a six-acre lawn along Kent Avenue between Grand and S. Fifth streets, will welcome its first visitors on June 10 — a little less than a year after residents started moving into the first completed tower at the former manufacturing site, which developer Two Trees began refashioning into a five-building, waterfront live-and-work complex back in 2014.

In the works: Builders were putting some of the finishing touches on the artifact walk back in April.
Photo by Caleb Caldwell

And the meadow isn’t just for folks who snag one of the 2,800 rental units planned for the site. The entire lawn — and its volleyball and two bocce courts, dog run, Japanese-style garden, dedicated kids’ and picnic spaces, and taco stand run by the restaurateur behind Shake Shack — will be open to the public, according to Two Trees, which foot the bill for the park.

The developer will also fund upkeep of its privately owned green space, which does not fall under the jurisdiction of the city’s Parks Department, an agency rep said.

Two Trees’s head honcho tapped landscape architects from the firm that dreamt up the elevated High Line park across the river in Manhattan to design Domino Park, which will be dotted with 30 artifacts including syrup tanks and other pieces of machinery salvaged from the meadow’s namesake factory in a nod to the property’s past life, he said.

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“Weaving in industrial remnants, Domino Park will serve as a living, breathing reminder of the history of this storied neighborhood,” said Jed Walentas.

And when it opens, the green space will be the second of the complex’s many components to be completed, following the July 2017 debut of apartments inside the site’s doughnut-shaped, 16-story tower at 325 Kent Ave., which boasts 105 so-called affordable units among its 522 rentals, and amenities that include a gym, bar, restaurant, roof decks, and courtyard.

The other in-the-works projects at the old sugar-factory campus include:

Sprawling space: A new six-acre park runs along the megadevelopment.
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• A newly built 42-story tower at 260 Kent Ave. that will boast 22 floors of commercial space and 330 rental apartments — 66 of which will be below-market-rate. Construction of the high-rise began in April, and Two Trees plans to welcome tenants late next year.

• The transformation of Domino Sugar’s landmarked refinery building into a glass-and-brick office space — which will boast the factory’s beloved yellow sign when workers finish the job, according to a rep for the developer, who couldn’t confirm a completion date, although previous reports claimed sometime in 2020.

• Two more buildings that the rep declined to comment on, but will likely feature some combination of commercial and residential spaces, including the other 529 so-called affordable apartments Two Trees promised to build in exchange for the mayor’s sign off on his scheme for the site.

And the Domino megadevelopment isn’t Walentas’s only in-the-works project in Kings County right now. The city recently tapped the reported DeBlasio donor to co-develop a partially below-market-rate apartment building on a public-housing parking lot in Boerum Hill, and the Dumbo-based builder also scooped up two next-door lots along the Gowanus Canal earlier this year, fueling speculation about what he has planned for that neighborhood as the city considers new residential zoning laws for the historically industrial area.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.