Two Trees’ plan for the former Domino Sugar Factory site in Williamsburg will deviate significantly from the already approved plans, and will add 60 percent more open space, create taller and more slender buildings, expand the amount of office space, and allow affordable housing residents to access to the same amenities as people in market-rate apartments, Curbed and Capital New York reported.
Two Trees, spearheaded by David and Jed Walentas, acquired the 11-acre site in October for $185 million and has solicited community input on possible uses. The company commissioned SHoP Architects — which is behind B2 at Atlantic Yards and the Barclays Center — for the plan, which will pull the buildings in from the water and extend River Street through the site, thereby creating a quarter mile waterfront park. The park can be used for community events like graduations and performances and in a manner akin to the High Line, according to SHoP principal Vishaan Chakrabarti.
To compensate for the loss of square footage resulting from the greater open space, Two Trees will build taller buildings in a porous design that will leave waterfront views unimpeded for neighborhoods behind the development. One building, for example has two 55-foot wide towers set 120 feet apart. “We didn’t want the project to have a back,” Chakrabarti told Curbed.
The plan also calls for a total of 631,000 square feet of office space, the majority of which will be on the north side of the building at Kent Avenue and Grant Street. The original plan called for just 98,000 square feet of office space.
Another significant aspect of the plan is that the residents of the 660 units of affordable housing will be able to access the same amenities as residents of the market-rate apartments, in a move that is a deviation from the policy at other waterfront developments.