The Real Deal New York

Two Trees’ Domino plan draws praise, criticism

March 05, 2013 02:00PM

Vishaan Chakrabarti of SHoP and a rendering of the Domino Sugar Factory site (Photo c/o SHoP Architects and James Corner Field Operations)

Now that the public has had a chance to gawk at Two Trees Management’s revised plans for the Domino Sugar factory in Williamsburg, the bold plans are seeing both sweet and sour reactions, according to the Brooklyn Paper.

For instance, Assemblyman Joe Lentol, whose district includes the megaproject, and William Harvey, the creator of the North Brooklyn Creative Economy Zone, a proposed neighborhood alliance promoting sustainable development, both praised the designs as a huge improvement on earlier ideas.

“It’s inventive and so much better than the original Domino plan, which was not innovative at all,” Lentol said. “It was very paint-by-the-numbers.”

Harvey had almost exactly the same thing on his mind, telling the newspaper that, “It’s a world-class plan that incorporates significant amount of space for the creative economy that will benefit North Brooklyn.” The previous developer’s vision, he added, “was unimaginative and design-by-numbers.”

But opponents of the $1 billion plan called SHoP Architects’ proposal the last nail in the coffin of the formerly edgy and bohemian Williamsburg.

“It is now easier than ever for the financiers who will soon make up the bulk of the residents of Williamsburg’s waterfront to land their hovercrafts inside of their be-holed condominium tower,” said Hamilton Nolan, a writer at the blog Gawker.

And prominent Williamsburg landlord Stephanie Eisenberg echoed that sentiment: “It’s a socio-economically segregated community. It’s dead. It’s boring.”

However, the plan does call for 660 units of affordable housing. [Brooklyn Paper]Christopher Cameron

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