Two Trees unveils bold plan for Williamsburg towers, beach

Mixed-use project requires approvals but architects Bjarke Ingels Group and James Corner Field Operations are on board

Two Trees’s Jed Walentas, Bjarke Ingels and a rendering of the project (Credit: Getty Images, BIG)
Two Trees’s Jed Walentas, Bjarke Ingels and a rendering of the project (Credit: Getty Images, BIG)

Two Trees Management has revealed an ambitious plan for two towers and a beach on an undeveloped section of Williamsburg’s waterfront.

The 3.5-acre site, formerly owned by Consolidated Edison, will get 1,000 residential units and a new recreation area if the Brooklyn-based developer gets its way, according to a press release. Two Trees, which also plans to create three acres of protected water by building two piers, bought the property at auction for about $150 million.

The master plan it unveiled Thursday must go through New York City’s seven-month land-use review process, which Two Trees’ CEO Jed Walentas aims to do before a new mayor and largely new City Council take over in 2022.

Two Trees held a series of community meetings in June and July to ask residents in the area what public amenities they would like included, Brownstoner reported.

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The project is to include a YMCA with an Olympic-sized pool, 57,000 square feet of office space and 30,000 square feet of retail. In Two Trees’ statement, the Brooklyn-based developer said 250 of the units would be designated as affordable, meeting the obligations of the mandatory inclusionary housing law for rezoned land.

Prior to the law’s passage, the developer tangled with the de Blasio administration over affordability levels at its massive project at the former Domino Sugar Factory site. But the City Council could still make demands of Two Trees in exchange for rezoning the Con Ed site.

Danish starchitect Bjarke Ingels has been hired to design the towers and landscape architect James Corner’s firm will handle the public space. The project’s public park will include a circular esplanade, marsh land and tidal pools that serve as a buffer against climate change and extreme weather.

Two Trees plans to issue requests for proposals for various water activity-related businesses such as kayak rentals. [6sqft] — Erin Hudson