Two Trees wants to build affordable first at Domino Sugar

A rendering of the Domino project (credit: SHoP) and Jed Walentas
A rendering of the Domino project (credit: SHoP) and Jed Walentas

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.

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“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