The Real Deal New York

Activists fear Domino towers will rise too high

Despite promises of affordable housing, many still oppose the Williamsburg project
March 09, 2014 03:00PM

 In the wake of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s deal with the developers of the $1.5 billion Domino sugar plant project – which allows for greater building heights in exchange for additional affordable housing — some activist and preservationists fear that the new towers will literally cast a shadow over their beloved neighborhood. 

“Hopefully new affordable housing can be created without necessarily requiring a massive scale of construction to do so,” Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, told the New York Daily News.

Other housing advocates worry that a “build-at-all-costs mentality” misses the point of good urban planning.

“Density is great, but it means more than just tall buildings,” Jerilyn Perine, of the Citizen’s Housing and Planning Commission, said. “They have to fit in with the urban fabric and address basic infrastructure, too.”

On Wednesday, the Planning Board approved Two Trees Management Company’s Domino factory conversion with permission to build as high as 55 stories, or about 20 stories more than zoning on the site normally allows, according to the Daily News. In return the developer agreed to set aside 537,000 square feet, a quarter of all space, for 700 units of affordable housing. [NYDN] Christopher Cameron