DUMBO’s Two Trees Management Company has a new vision for the iconic Domino Sugar Refinery on Williamsburg’s waterfront. The company bought the property in 2012 with plans to renovate, but has just released an alternative plan designed by SHoP Architects that provides green space, jobs, affordable housing, and the potential to give more back to the South Williamsburg community. The revised plan takes months of community meetings into consideration, creating a mixed-use neighborhood that also protects the longevity of the undeveloped area.
The Domino Sugar Refinery started production in 1856, but the structure we see today was largely built in 1892. The factory closed down in 2004, leaving the partially landmarked complex in disuse for almost a decade. The prime waterfront real estate next to the Williamsburg Bridge will soon be redeveloped by SHoP Architects into a coveted complex that combines much-needed affordable housing with market price residences, recreational facilities, commercial space, and a public school. Around 660 affordable units are planned, and slated to be completed first in the scheme of construction plans.
The ground floors of each residential building will feature independent retailers, rather than big box development, creating a local vibe. The waterfront will be redeveloped into a gorgeous parkland esplanade by James Corner Field Operations, including kayak launches, a floating pool, sports fields, lawns and gardens, and will be connected to Williamsburg’s main streets via walkways. A High Line-like elevated walk will double as a history museum, displaying relics from the original factory. New office space will house 3,000 to 4,000 jobs, in a complex that is accessible 24/7.
The new plan already has support from the Bloomberg administration, and pending community review, should begin construction as early as this spring.