$1.5b Urban Renewal Project: Brooklyn’s Sugar Refinery Master Plan

New York-based property development company, Two Trees Management are set to deliver the Domino Sugar Plant Redevelopment in Williamsburg, New York.

The company bought the development site in 2013 for USD$185 million and plan to construct a 3.3 million square feet mixed-use mega-project.

The redevelopment will see the 11-acre site located along five blocks of the waterfront in Williamsburg, Brooklyn between Grand Street and South 5th Street, become home to a five tower development.

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One building  has two 55-foot wide towers set 120-feet apart, joined at the top.

Another tower looks like two stacked Tetris pieces with a gap between them. Two slender 60-storey towers, connected by a skybridge, comprise the tallest structure, all allowing for light and air to pass through.

It will provide a 24/7 mix of creative office space, market-rate and affordable housing, neighbourhood retail, and community facilities; and is an innovative form of open architecture that connects the existing neighbourhood to the new waterfront.

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The site was originally purchased by CPC Resources, the for-profit arm of Community Preservation Corporation, and Brooklyn developer Isaac Katan in 2010.

CPC’s plan for the site included a high-rise building with 2,300 apartments, 660 apartments of which would be set aside for affordable housing. The site’s plan also included two 34-story buildings.

In 2012, CPC defaulted on its development project for the Domino Sugar Factory.

The site was then purchased by Two Trees that submitted a new design plan for the site in 2013 and in March 2014, plans for the $1.5 billion redevelopment of the old Domino Sugar refinery on the Brooklyn waterfront were approved by the City Planning Commission.

The City Planning Commission signed off on the proposal after they struck a deal with Two Trees Management to include more affordable housing units in exchange for the towers to be built up to 55-storeys high.

The deal requires Two Trees to include 700 below-market-rate units — which is 40 more than what was originally offered.

SHoP Architects and Field Operation’s master plan for the Domino Sugar site replaces a city-approved 2010 plan with a new proposal that adds 60% more publicly-accessible open space on a new street grid.

SHoP will design two of the five towers while selecting different architects for the other towers.

The plan envisions a new skyline for Brooklyn—one that relates to the height of the Williamsburg bridge.

Central to the scheme is the renovated Domino Sugar refinery, which will become the nerve center of the project across from a new public space.

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Two Trees will create a new public square on one of the original tower sites, directly south of the Domino refinery building. The 148-year-old structure is the only building to be maintained and is set to become technology and creative industry offices.

In additional to the affordable apartments, the Domino plan includes almost 1,600 market-rate units, a reintegrated streetscape, local retail spaces, a new school and five acres of waterfront open space.

Domino Sugar Plant development will bring a more sustainable mix of uses that will bring over 3,000 new jobs to the neighbourhood.

Construction of the first phase of Domino Sugar Plant Redevelopment is expected to begin in late 2014.