Domino Sugar Factory redevelopment to include more affordable units

In accordance with the mayor’s affordable-housing plan, Two Trees struck a deal with De Blasio to build more low-cost apartments…as well as higher towers

Domino Sugar Factory at present

Domino Sugar Factory at present Photograph courtesy Vivienne Gocwa via Flickr

Bill de Blasio and his administration are singing their first affordable-housing victory. The controversial $1.5 billion redevelopment of the Domino Sugar Factory, which is being undertaken by Jed Walentas's Two Trees Management Company, originally promised 660 low-cost apartments out of 2,300 units (plus office space, a revamped esplanade and a school). However, plans for the Williamsburg site were held up by the mayor last month because they did not meet the terms of his ambitious affordable-housing plan, and Two Trees threatened to sell the 11-acre complex.

But yesterday the real-estate firm and the mayor's office found a compromise: more low-cost housing in exchange for a zoning change. At first glance, it doesn't seem like much—only about 40 more affordable units (bringing the total up to 700), in exchange for allowing the distinctive towers to be built 55 stories high, about 20 stories higher than current laws permit…which, of course, allows Two Trees to make more money off more market-rate residences.

But the developer also agreed to raise the number of two- and three-bedroom affordable units, which were originally configured primarily as studios and one-bedrooms (not so suitable for mixed-income families), and that those economical apartments remain that way permanently. Maybe a small victory for De Blasio—but a symbolic one.

(h/t The New York Times)

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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)

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