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Affordable housing to replace old Domino Sugar factory

A sweet new set of affordable apartments are coming to Williamsburg – their location: the site of the shuttered Domino Sugar factory.

Slated for completion in 2017, the first building, a 16-story structure, will include close to 500 rental units – 105 of them deemed to be “affordable” with rents starting at $575 a month.

Two Trees Management Company broke ground on the building on March 2 on the east side of Kent Avenue between South Third and Fourth Streets. The company will also begin work on rebuilding the quarter-mile-long waterfront pier, the future site of a five-acre public park, according to Two Trees.

“The Domino site has been stalled for years, so we are very proud to break ground here and quickly bring on line 105 affordable homes for the community,” said Jed Walentas, principal at Two Trees Management. “As with all of our projects, Two Trees is committed to Williamsburg for the long haul, and we’d like to thank the many local residents and stakeholders for their input and ideas since we acquired the property two years ago.”

The company’s plan for the site is to “reconnect South Williamsburg to its waterfront.” The plan includes five acres of parkland, new “world-class” design,” and up to 700 units of affordable housing after the full build-out and completion of the site, expected to take six to eight years.

“We couldn’t be prouder that planning is turning into reality with this first building at the Domino site,” said Vishaan Chakrabarti, principal at SHoP Architects. “Clad in rich industrial materials including zinc and copper, with an innovative design that weaves the past with the future of the Williamsburg waterfront, this building is a testament to the local community, city officials, and our extraordinary client Two Trees, who never wavered from their commitment to design excellence.”

All of the affordable units in the first building will be made available to applicants earning between $33,560 and $50,340 for a family of four, according to Two Trees. Additionally, residents of Brooklyn Community Board 1 will be given preference for the affordable units.

Two Trees has also committed to a “local hiring plan” for construction and building service positions on the site.

“After waiting for over 10 years for much-needed affordable housing, we are happy that there is finally a developer that is putting its promises into actions,” said Ramon Peguero, executive director of Southside United HDFC – Los Sures. “We commend Two Trees and look forward to its continued involvement and open dialogue with the community.”

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