Domino Sugar factory development just too big: politician

City Council member says 3,000 residential units would over-tax infrastructure in Williamsburg

From left: Steve Levin, rendering of Domino Sugar factory project and Jed Walentas
From left: Steve Levin, rendering of Domino Sugar factory project and Jed Walentas

At a hearing on the redevelopment of the Domino Sugar factory, the zoning subcommittee of the City Council voiced concern the 2.2 million-square-foot project could house more people than the Brooklyn neighborhood can handle.

The project at landmarked 292-314 Kent Avenue, approved by the City Planning Commission earlier this month, could include up to 3,000 residential units — a number that Brooklyn Council member Steve Levin said would add stress to Williamsburg’s infrastructure, Crain’s reported. Although developer Jed Walentas of Two Trees Management said the firm plans to build fewer units than zoning allows, Levin thinks the developer will construct the maximum number of units based on an analysis of Two Trees’ past projects, according to the article.

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“Because you’re unwilling to commit to a unit-size breakdown of your market rate, and you’re unwilling to cap it at 2,300 units, I’m concerned that the opportunity is there, and the math bears it out, for a development that is much closer to 3,000 units than 2,000 units, and that’s a major source of concern for me,” Levin told Walentas during the meeting, as Crain’s reported.

Levin is also concerned the 700 affordable housing units Two Trees has promised isn’t sufficient, the news site said. The project still needs City Council approval to move forward. [Crain’s]Angela Hunt