Sweet Result for Domino Developers
June 29th, 2010
Alana Horowitz filed this post.
A six-year battle over the fate of the former Domino Sugar factory site neared its close today as two key City Council committees unanimously approving its redevelopment. A vote by the full council is expected later today.
The zoning subcommittee and Land Use committee voted 9-0 and 23-0 respectively in favor of the plan, which would replace the old buildings with high-rise residential towers. The ayes included the district’s council member, Stephen Levin, who had previously opposed the project, which has the enthusiastic backing of the Bloomberg administration.
Levin had criticized the development proposed by CPC Resources as “too big” and worried that the 660 units of affordable housing — 30 percent of the total — would not be enough to meet his community’s needs. He wanted the project’s highest towers to be reduced from 40 stories to 28 and the project to include additional low-cost housing.
But last minute negotiations seemed to satisfy the Williamsburg lawmaker. The plan still includes only 660 low-cost units, but the towers are now capped at 34 stories.
“The goal has always been to bring the maximum number of affordable housing units to the Williamsburg community,” said Levin.
“I believed in this project, my community believed in this project,” she said. “We’re very happy.”
Councilmember Charles Barron also voted for the plan, but said he was frustrated over the amount of affordable housing.
“You’re talking about 70 percent luxury now and that could change the complexity and direction of the community,” he said.
Though the developer expects the project to create over 1,000 jobs for local residents, Barron expressed skepticism. “This project needs to be monitored,” he said, or the contractors could just employ their own laborers.
The council agreed to create a community advisory board to oversee the development, as well as a shuttle service between the site and the Marcy Avenue subway station.
Besides new apartments, the project also will include a school, parks and a waterside walkway. Construction is set to start next year and last about a decade.
Any changes to the aforementioned community facilities will have be to made through the city’s land use review process.
Several council members commended Levin’s efforts during the negotiation process. “He made a difficult project much better than its original version,” said Councilman Vincent Ignizio.By Gail Robinson on June 29, 2010, 5:43 pm
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