Two Trees signs $185M contract for Domino site

Two Trees Development has signed a contract to buy the Domino Sugar Factory site on the Williamsburg waterfront for $185 million, the New York Times reported. The deal, previously reported to be in the works for $160 million, gives new life to the planned $1.4 billion development of 2,200 housing units that was once thought to be dead.

Developer Community Preservation Corp.’s financial difficulties stalled the development and threatened the inclusion of 660 affordable housing units and a waterfront esplanade it had originally planned to win local support. But years of speculative lending during the boom pummeled CPC and forced it to default on the loans.

CPC’s partner in the development, the Katan Group, tried to block the sale of the property to Two Trees, as it thought the original $160 million offer was too low. Katan gathered the Chetrit Group and David Bistricer to make a $185 million offer, which forced Two Trees to raise its initial offer. Related Companies and Silverstein Properties were also reportedly interested in the site.

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“We’re super-excited about it,” said Jed Walentas, a principal Two Trees Management. “This is a long-term investment for us. There are probably some opportunities to make improvements on the plans.”

However, if those “improvements” include the removal of any of the affordable housing promised, Two Trees can expect a long battle with community activists, Williamsburg leaders told the Times. [NYT]