The Real Deal New York

Two Trees wants to build affordable first at Domino Sugar

October 07, 2013 12:52PM

Two Trees Management hopes to put nearly a third of the affordable housing at the Domino Sugar Factory development on a site across the street from the rest of the Williamsburg waterfront development. On Friday, the developer argued before the Department of Housing Preservation and Development that all the development parcels of the massive 2,284-apartment project should be treated as one big parcel, a move that would allow Two Trees to put more than one fifth of the affordable units into the first tower rather than spreading them evenly throughout the five planned towers.

The move would make 200 out of the first 400 units at the tower – Being Built On Kent Avenue between South Third and South Fourth streets – affordable. Some community members have expressed their support for the plan if it allows the affordable units to be built faster, Brooklyn Paper reported.

“To have both market-rent tenants and low-income tenants living together is the way all housing should be built, but more importantly, to have 250 affordable housing units available in the immediate future for a population so desperately in need is a must,” Debra Medina, a spokesperson for local housing organization Los Sures, said at the Friday hearing.

“Advocates expressed a strong preference to have the affordable units front-loaded in the six-or-eight-year-long development,” Dave Lombino, head of special projects for Two Trees, said at the hearing, attended by Brooklyn Paper.

But some expressed their concern that dealing with the affordable units in this manner amounts to a sort of separate-but-equal approach, according to Brooklyn Paper.

“It [the plan] 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,” said Stephanie Eisenberg, a community resident and opponent of the Domino project. [Brooklyn Paper]  – Hiten Samtani

  • Tired of Stephanie

    Get a life Stephanie !!!

  • Jadugaar

    I do not understand why Los Sures is on board
    with this when we know nothing about how “affordable” the “affordable
    housing” built by Two Trees will be. If the “affordable housing” ends up
    being mostly targeted at $50,000 to $100,000 incomes and above then
    this will do nothing to help the people who “desperately need” housing.
    More than half of Southside households make less than $40,000 and many
    make less than $25,000 — these are the people that are getting pushed
    out and this might do nothing to help them at all.

    Also, the rule
    change would allow the developer to stack all of the affordable housing
    on the inland site in a segregated building. Two Trees “promises” they
    won’t do this but what good is a promise? The Community Preservation
    Corporation promised many things and then sold the site for $185
    million. “Promises” need to be legally binding, if Two Trees financial
    condition takes a turn for the worse then these “promises” will all be
    thrown out the window like the were with CPC.

    Also this article
    is completely missing the citywide implication. This rule change allows
    developers to place their “on site” affordable housing in separate
    buildings across the street from the luxury development. Think of what
    could happen in Greenpoint where the developers may be “less
    enlightened” than Two Trees — it would be like the current situation at
    The Edge and Northside Piers with segregated affordable housing but even
    worse — across the street in a separate building entirely, not really
    part of the waterfront development at all.
    Today, 11:15 am

  • Jadugaar

    I do not mean to be anonymous — this signed me in automatically on my “Disqus” account — Brian Paul, writer/research for The Domino Effect (, MUP

    • James

      Did you see what Two Trees did for DUMBO? A complete revival!