Starting in the New Year: Domino Sugar Fight
Eliot Brown Dec. 31, 2009, 4:22 p.m.
Just because Atlantic Yards is (probably) now happening, that’s not to say Brooklyn has seen the last of big development battles.
Based on a notice from the Department of City Planning this week, it seems the fight over the former Domino Sugar factory site is set to kick off first thing in the new year. The proposed 2,200-apartment, 2.8 million-square-foot development is set to officially enter the seven-month public approval process on Monday, with the project front and center on City Planning’s agenda.
The project, being pushed by the Community Preservation Corporation, a development firm, calls for apartment towers to rise on five lots along the waterfront, and the conversion of the main Domino Sugar factory building into an apartment building. With the towers rising as high as 400 feet, the proposed development has spurred controversy from the surrounding community, which generally has been critical of the density.
The issue will be a foray for incoming Councilman Steve Levin, the former aide to Brooklyn Democratic leader Vito Lopez, who will represent the district following an election this fall to succeed Councilman David Yassky.
Mr. Levin has criticized the density, as has Mr. Lopez, who wants more below-market rate housing. The project currently calls for 660 apartments, or 30 percent, to be below-market rate, a rather high proportion given that multiple subsidies program award benefits at 20 percent.
For anyone wanting to pore over the mountain of paperwork accompanying the project’s start of public review, City Planning put the environmental impact statement on their Web site Thursday. Among the notable tidbits are an alternative plan with less density (consistent with the density up the East River in the rest of the Williamsburg waterfront), and a plan that calls for a hotel within the development.