Two Trees Management has pleased some affordable housing advocates and stoked concern among others with a plan to isolate almost one-third of the affordable apartment units at the Domino Sugar Factory project in one tower farthest from the East River.
While the method would hasten the construction of units for less affluent locals, the method could also lead to a perception of not-so-subtly segregated affordable housing that has haunted other recent, large-scale developments along the Williamsburg waterfront.
“To have both market-rent tenants and low-income tenants living together is the way all housing should be built,” Debra Medina, a spokesperson for southside Williamsburg’s Los Sures community group, said at a Department of Housing Preservation and Development meeting on Friday. “But more importantly, to have 250 affordable housing units available in the immediate future for a population so desperately in need is a must.”
The first high-rise will go up on on Kent Avenue between South Third and South Fourth Streets, in an area that Brooklyn Paper describes as “across the street and uphill” from the bulk of the Domino campus. A Two Trees spokesman said the front-loading is what the neighborhood wants.
Yet Stephanie Eisenberg, one local opposed to the project, voiced concerns on the plan. “It could allow the shifting of all the affordable housing to the inland site to maximize the profit for the developer and allow the sale of individual parcels, presumably on the waterfront, without requiring any affordable housing on these sites,” she said.
Two Trees still needs city approval before proceeding with development.