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Sweet sweep! Domino Sugar development clears final hurdle

Holey mackerel: Two Trees unveiled its new plans for the old Domino sugar factory, deciding to ditch bulkier buildings for taller, skinnier skyscrapers with giant holes in the middle. The one on the right could wind up being the tallest building in Brooklyn.
Courtesy of Two Trees Management Company

The latest Domino Sugar factory development plan passed the Council in a unanimous vote on Wednesday, opening the way for construction on the mega-development after years of heated debate over the project.

Developer Two Trees Management Company’s vision includes five towers that are supposed to hold thousands of residential units, office space, retail stores, and a school. The company put forward the plan despite the previous owner having obtained city approval for its proposal over activist opposition. Company officials said the unusual strategy it pursued after buying the stagnant site for $185 million a year and a half ago paid off.

“We took a big gamble, passing up an approved plan and going back through the political process because we wanted to build something innovative and worthy of the magnificent site and the dynamic neighborhood,” said Dave Lombino, Two Trees’ head of special projects. “Today’s approval is an endorsement of that vision and we can’t wait to break ground later this year. We hope Domino will become a model for thoughtful mixed-use development, with world-class design, affordable housing and new open space.”

The plan approved by the Council contains concessions Mayor DeBlasio had demanded from the company, including increasing the amount of so-called “affordable housing” from 500,000 square feet of the 2.28 million square feet of floor space in the luxury complex, to a total of 610,000 square feet, or 700 units of 2,300.

Two Trees officials say it will take between 10 to 15 years to build the vertical village at the base of the Williamsburg Bridge.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.
Forward: Mayor DeBlasio did not put up a fuss in the approval process after getting his way.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

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