Plans for the New Domino Set Goal of 30% of Units for Affordable Housing in Mixed-Income Community on the Brooklyn Waterfront
Former Industrial Site Will Mirror the City’s Economic and Cultural Diversity and Preserve Historic Architecture in Williamsburg
Diagram of The New Domino Site.
THE NEW DOMINO is an exciting redevelopment proposal for the former Domino Sugar site along the Williamsburg waterfront in Brooklyn. The New Domino will be built with the goals of providing substantial affordable housing with high-quality design; redeveloping a vacant waterfront industrial site into an economically integrated mix of residential, retail and community facilities uses; and creating physical and visual access to the waterfront for the Williamsburg community.
The 11.2-acre Domino site includes over five blocks located just north of the Williamsburg Bridge in the Southside neighborhood of Williamsburg. Five blocks are located along the waterfront, running from South Fifth Street north to Grand Street. A second parcel is an adjacent upland site that is a little over one acre, and is located across Kent Avenue, between South Third and South Fourth Streets.
Plans include a goal of providing 30 percent of units as affordable housing within a new community of approximately 2,400 residential units and approximately 220,000 square feet of new retail, commercial, and community cultural facility space.
The New Domino will include new residential buildings of varying heights along the waterfront and on the upland site. In addition, the most prominent feature of the site – the three-building complex known as The Refinery – will be converted to a combination of residential, retail and community facility use. The new buildings flanking the Refinery will rise to a variety of heights along Kent Avenue and along the streets toward the River, with two buildings rising to 30 stories and two to 40 stories. The plan for the upland portion of the project continues the varying-height design concept so as to integrate the upland and waterfront components.
The site plan also includes approximately four acres of public, landscaped park space along the riverfront, including a central gathering place along the river behind the historic Refinery. The waterfront esplanade – running the entire length of the site – will connect to Grand Ferry Park north of the site. In addition, the striking design by Rafael Viñoly Architects PC restores visual and physical access to the waterfront along each of the upland streets leading to the River – access which had been closed off to the public for more than a century – and offers a spectacular addition to the Brooklyn skyline.
Who is CPC?
The Community Preservation Corporation (CPC) and its for-profit development arm, CPC Resources, Inc. (CPCR), have helped to create decent, affordable housing for hundreds of thousands of people – often one small project at a time. Assisting a first-time developer with a construction loan on a hard-to-finance project in a changing neighborhood, financing units for seniors, preserving precious affordable, moderate and middle income developments through renovation and modernization, developing programs to preserve moderate income co-ops, financing and developing affordable housing in conjunction with local not-for-profit organizations – these are all part of what we do and are integral to our mission. Please visit our website at www.communityp.com.
Do you own Domino?
Domino was purchased in 2004 by a group called Refinery LLC, made up of CPCR as managing member, and The Katan Group. CPCR is the development arm of CPC, and its mission is to undertake development opportunities that support CPC’s affordable housing mission. CPCR is the controlling partner of the Refinery, and has sole decision-making responsibility for the development of the site.
Have you ever done anything in Williamsburg before?
Absolutely. We have played an important role in the community over the years. We have been involved in the creation of nearly 2,000 low, moderate, and middle-income apartments in 57 developments, reflecting a total investment of approximately $240 million. View CPC Williamsburg Investment Map
What are your plans for the Domino site?
We believe that the 11.2-acre site presents an important opportunity to create an economically diverse residential community that features affordable housing, open space, a waterfront esplanade, and historic preservation through economically responsible adaptive re-use. We’ve hired a world-class architect – Rafael Vinoly – to design an exciting and accessible new residential community. Since the Refinery Building has its own unique challenges with respect to adaptive reuse, we have hired Beyer Blinder Belle to creatively and carefully plan for the reuse of the Refinery.
We are tremendously excited about the site’s potential to add to the quality of life of the Williamsburg community, and are eager to complete a plan which achieves the right balance of public benefits. Back to “Planning for the Future – Overview”
Who’s going to be able to afford to live there?
We hope to create a community that serves people across a wide spectrum of incomes. Our goal is to set aside 30 percent of all units as affordable. This will include a portion of rental housing for low-income households at or below 30% of the area median income (AMI); a second portion of rental housing for households at or below 60% AMI; a portion for senior housing at 50% AMI, and homeownership units at the City’s Partnership Program affordability levels.
Who will be able to use the open space?
The esplanade and the open space will be public –available to residents and non-residents.
What about the effects of all this development on schools, transportation, etc.?
We’ll be doing an extensive environmental analysis as part of the ULURP process, and we’ll implement whatever mitigations are called for.