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Project By: Jacquelyn Lekhraj, Ioana Paunescu
The Domino Sugar Refinery is located on Kent Avenue in Williamsburg,
Brooklyn. It was officially closed down in 2004.

Community Preservation Corp. (CPC), has created a $1.5 billion dollar
plan. It will include:

4 acres of open space
 2,200 new apartments
 30% of the new apartments would be affordable housing units
 274,000 square feet of retail space


City Council Member Steve Levin, Democratic
Assemblyman Vito Lopez and the Community Board of
District 1 in Williamsburg are opposed to the plan due to the
heavy influx of daily commuters on the L train
Ashley Thompson is the legislative director for Levin and
released a statement stating that Levin is supporting
Community Board 1 (and residents of Williamsburg) who
oppose the plan because of the strain it would put on the
“already inadequate transit system”.

The project is simply too big. CPC’s plan would introduce over 6,000 new
residents to the neighborhood – a nearly 25% population increase for the
½ mile area surrounding the site.

Brooklyn Borough President
Markowitz and Mayor Bloomberg
have ruled in favor of the housing
project plan. This has come as a
surprise for many who believed
the Brooklyn Borough president
was likely to rule in favor of
Councilman Levin.
The following is a satellite image of the factory and the surrounding area:
On our walking tour along Kent Ave there were several vacant developments and in progress construction
zones

The structural integrity of the Domino Sugar Factory building has been compromised. It’s surrounded by
scaffolding, the windows are broken, the building is barricaded and under 24 hour video surveillance,
and it emits a molasses like stench
View of the Domino Sugar Factory from
Kent Avenue.


The Domino Sugar sign will be landmarked
 The refinery building itself will be converted into a
museum with open space for visitors to create and
display artwork of their own. These would be called
artist rooms and are modeled after the Tate
Museum of London.
Alternative angles and views of the buildings

We conducted approximately 30 interviews. We gave the
interviewees the following information:
 Community Preservation Corp., has been commissioned to create a
plan for the Domino Sugar Refinery. Their $1.5 billion plan includes:
▪ 4 acres of open space
▪ 2,200 new apartments, 30% of which are affordable housing units
▪ 274,000 square feet of retail space
 Community Board 1 and City Councilman Steve Levin object to the
plan for the following reasons:
▪ Not enough affordable housing is being provided
▪ It will cause a 25% population increase leading to a huge influx on the L
train

The following are various quotations from interviewees demonstrating
the diverse opinions of Williamsburg residents on what to make of the
space:





“I definitely want to see the building landmarked if it’s practical from a safety
perspective” – Zack (hipster employee of K-Rock Screen printing)
“The housing project is pretty boring. I’d like the freedom to go into the factory. Art or
studio space would be cool”- Tim and Aaron (residents and photographers)
“I don’t want to see any more affordable housing. I’m not a fan of city-funded housing,
but I wouldn’t mind condos”- Greg (Williamsburg resident)
“That many more housing units is just not feasible, there aren’t enough trains. If there
were fewer units that were all affordable and an improvement to the transit system”Liz (Williamsburg resident)
“Bloomberg wants everyone to work in midtown and commute outward. The trains are
already congested in the morning and a ferry won’t help unless you work downtown.
They should use the space for small business interests, retail and industry. I’m sick of
seeing bars here. Money should stay in Brooklyn”- J.D. (Williamsburg Resident and
manager of the local Oslo Coffee Shop)

Conclusions drawn based on interviews:
 Certain demographics of people wanted similar
projects to be undertaken
▪ i.e. young (twenty-something) artists [aka hipsters]
wanted to see studio space
 The space can accommodate the varying ideas,
however, in smaller scales.


Our plan would incorporate aspects of several suggestions provided by
interviewed residents.
We propose a mixed-use space:






Instead of 2,200 apartment units we would have 1,100, 80% of which would be
affordable housing. Overwhelmingly, people did not want to see more condos,
therefore more affordable housing and less housing in general adheres to the wishes of
residents.
Extension of existing bus lines would alleviate most stress over the L-Train influx
Landmark the Domino Sugar Refinery sign
Remodel the factory building into a mixed-use building. It would include a minimuseum on the first floor as a ode to Brooklyn’s industrial history and studio spaces in
the elevated portion of the buildings
We will maintain the original 4 acres of open space as proposed by the CPC
We will use the remaining square footage not used for housing for retail/ industry
purposes.
The housing
units will be
located here

Existing bus and subway lines:
The B62 and the B59
bus lines (which the
arrows indicate)
would be extended.
www.mta.info/nyct/maps/busbkln.pdf
The Bankside Power
Station was an oil-fired
power station that
operated from 1952 to
1981, generating
electricity for the city of
London. In danger of
being demolished, this
building was converted
into the Tate Modern
Museum, Britain’s
national museum of
modern art. The
conversion of the Domino
Sugar Refinery building
to a museum would likely
be a great tourist
attraction.
The refinery
will be
made into a
museum
The open
space will be
on the
periphery
The retail
space will
be located
here
By incorporating the wishes of various residents of
Williamsburg we have created a plan that is suitable for the
needs of a growing city.
Many factors have been taken into account, the personal
wishes of Williamsburg inhabitants, the transit congestion,
the wishes to develop the economic competiveness of
Brooklyn while maintaining the artistic features of the
neighborhood.
See attached document