Alan G. Brake outlines the redesigned plans to develop the site of the historic Domino Sugar refinery along Brooklyn's East River waterfront. The $1.5 billion plan is the latest, and perhaps last, turn in the site's tortured redevelopment saga.
After prior owners CPC Resources and the Katan Group failed to move forward with their controversial plan for the site, DUMBO developer Two Trees stepped in to save the day. Working with designers SHoP Architects, Two Trees principal Jed Walentas has upped the overall square footage and the heights of the tallest buildings, but also substantially increased the open space, reduced parking, and increased the balance of uses to "create a real neighborhood."
As Justin Davidson notes in his review of the project, "[f]or Walentas, electing to go through the approval process again is like having a root canal just for the hell of it. It’s hard to argue that his motivator is greed, since the new proposal whittles away some market-rate apartments, keeps all the affordable units, adds less-profitable offices, shuts out megaretailers in favor of small stores, and increases the open public space by almost 60 percent. Maybe Walentas really wants what he says he wants: a round-the-clock New Dumbo."
"The city rarely gets this good a chance to extricate itself from a planning mistake," he adds. "Yes, the new Domino would mean more creeping Manhattanization, but that sure is better than the alternative: the New Jersification of Brooklyn."
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