Editorial: A sweet design for Domino
Development projects in the city generally follow a tedious script. First, a developer shows up with fancy renderings, maybe even a model. Critics howl that it's too big, too exclusive and too expensive for locals. They say they weren't consulted and that fat cats are ramming a monstrosity down their throats. The area's City Council member demands size reductions, affordable housing, local hiring and grants for community programs. If the economics of the project manage to survive this tortured process, eventually it gets built. But now, Brooklyn-based Two Trees Management has found a better way. Its planned redevelopment of the Domino Sugar refinery site in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is a paradigm that others would be wise to adopt. First, Two Trees met with the community and did its homework before proposing anything. Rather than pitch something with excessive profit built in to withstand inevitable demands for concessions, it sought to integrate its project with the neighborhood and incorporate the desires of community members—especially those in undersize, dingy apartments. To do so, Two Trees did something bold. It proposed building higher than the local councilman, Steve Levin, had consented to for a previous Domino plan (which endured such a tortured history that its developer abandoned it and sold to Two Trees). While the company knew heights had been cut to win Mr. Levin's vote, it also knew that extra floors would pay for more affordable housing and parks, the community's top priorities. Open space is far more useful on the ground than in the sky. We hope Mr. Levin sees that the taller heights substantially improve the project, and forsakes any outdated notions that shorter is better. The rationale is clear: Building higher maintains the previous plan's economics—notably its promise of 660 affordable units, which is 30% of the total—while allowing for the removal of a bulky building that would have impeded community access to the waterfront. The new design provides ample open space for Two Trees' tenants and community members alike to relax, with views of the harbor and Manhattan skyline. The plan also adds offices so more of north Brooklyn's talented entrepreneurs can launch and grow businesses where they live. No doubt a few privileged homeowners will complain that Two Trees' towers will cast evil shadows and mar the landscape. But when 400 working-class residents met recently about the project, not a single one said it was too tall. They had more practical questions, like whether it would allow them to stay in Williamsburg and enjoy its waterfront. Their prevailing conclusion was that it will do exactly that. The City Council should take its cue from them.
Stock Market XML and JSON Data API provided by FinancialContent Services, Inc.
Nasdaq quotes delayed at least 15 minutes, all others at least 20 minutes.
Markets are closed on certain holidays. Stock Market Holiday List
By accessing this page, you agree to the following
Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.
Press Release Service provided by PRConnect.
Stock quotes supplied by Six Financial
Postage Rates Bots go here