Brooklyn mega-developer Two Trees, which owns much of DUMBO, is poised to put down deeper roots on the Williamsburg Waterfront, where the big old Domino Sugar refinery awaits the developer’s gentrifying magic touch. The Community Preservation Corporation (CPC), which tried and failed to transform the old refinery into a large mixed-use residential and retail development, has closed on a deal to sell the property to Two Trees for $185 million…
The original plans for the development were ambitious and somewhat controversial—some locals worried about another huge influx of Williamsburg residents overwhelming public transportation (the Bedford L stop is already a shitshow at rush hour). The mixed-use 2,200-unit development was supposed to have 660 units of affordable housing, but Two Trees owner Jed Walentas—who also owns The Wythe Hotel—has not committed to that ratio of affordable-to-obscenely expensive. In fact, Two Trees’ plans for the property are still very much TBD.
CPC’s promise of 30 percent affordable housing was never legally binding, but CPC would have taken advantage of the city’s Inclusionary Housing Program, requiring it to set aside 20% of the units at “affordable” below-market rates. In an interview with the Observer in June, Walentas said, “Regardless of what the deal was with the previous people, it’s been several years and nothing’s gotten built. One of the biggest challenges is to make something happen. I do think affordable housing will be at the top of the list, but there’s a wide array of social benefits this project can offer, from schools to open space to community space.”