WLI Gets an Exclusive Tour of Domino Sugar Factory
by Sakshi Khanna
The Domino Sugar Factory on the Williamsburg waterfront, the last of its kind, is set to be demolished in 2 weeks to make way for the new development. The factory is currently displaying the Kara Walker installation “A Subtlety” (until July 6th), a homage to the unpaid and overworked artisans who have refined our sweet tastes from the cane fields to the kitchens of the world. The installation offers a peek into the history of the waterfront as it was it the early 1900’s – a haven of large sugar factories along the East River. A walking tour of the factory on May 15 2014 highlighted the existing condition of the site, while a presentation by Two Trees development envisioned its future.
Abandoned in 2004, the 11 acre site is all set for a mixed-use development headed by Two Trees. Purchased for $180 million from CPC Resources after failed attempts at redevelopment, the Two Trees plan received final approval from the City Council last month after the developer agreed to the de Blasio Administration’s request to increase the affordable housing commitment at the site. As part of the approval process, the project will include roughly 31% affordable housing and a waterfront public park. In addition, the original sugar refinery building will be preserved as a part of the new development and will house office and collaborative work spaces.
Perched on the East river, luxury residential towers will offer unmatched views of the Manhattan skyline. With an iconic design by ShoP Architects, the project is intended to connect with the community and offer direct access to the public park along the waterfront through a public square. Echoing the Two Trees development philosophy, the Domino sugar factory will stand for building community over just building real estate.