De Blasio wants more affordable housing at Domino Sugar

Mayor's attitude towards affordable mandates is being closely watched

From left: Two Trees' Jed Walentas, Domino Sugar refinery site and Mayor Bill de Blasio
From left: Two Trees' Jed Walentas, Domino Sugar refinery site and Mayor Bill de Blasio

Two Trees Management’s plans for the Domino Sugar refinery in Williamsburg appeared to be on track, but the new mayor has thrown a wrench in the plan, insisting on a larger number of affordable housing units.

Jed Walentas’ current plan promises 660 affordable and middle-income units out of 2,300 total, but Mayor de Blasio is now insisting on an additional 50,000 square feet, or roughly 60 apartments, in exchange for the zoning changes Walentas needs to construct his planned towers, the New York Times reported.

The New York City Department of City Planning is set to vote on the project Wednesday, and will be carefully watched by developers looking to gauge de Blasio’s attitude towards developers. He has publicly stated that his goal is to build or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing.

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“This is curtain’s up on the first act of the real estate drama for the new administration,”John Mollenkopf, director of City University’s Center for Urban Research, told the Times.

Walentas has so far balked at the new demands, even threatening to revert to the original Domino plan, which called for approximately 2,200 apartments in about 2.4 million square feet of residential space, as well as up to 223,570 square feet of retail space and 143,076 square feet of community space.

“I’d very much like to work this out with them, but what they’re currently asking for is not workable,” Walentas told the Times. [NYT]Julie Strickland