Redevelopment of the Domino Sugar Site

Domino Sugar Project, Testimony Before the City Planning Commission, January 22, 2014

My name is L. Nicolas Ronderos and I’m Regional Plan Association’s New York Director. RPA aims to improve the New York metropolitan region’s economic health, environmental sustainability and quality of life through research, planning and advocacy.

RPA supports the proposed redevelopment of the Domino Sugar site because it offers a range of benefits that can come with carefully planned, large development projects. The project provides a substantial amount of below-market housing above the city's current requirements; adds to outer-borough employment opportunities; and strengthens and provides significant new space for Brooklyn's emerging tech district. It also provides for attractive public access to the waterfront for a community that has long been walled off from the East River.

The proposed Domino Sugar Project modifications will reconfigure building lot coverage, heights, and setbacks; allow for the redistribution of floor area among the various buildings; permit the co-location of residential and commercial uses in the same building; liberalize the parking and loading locational criteria; lock in building massing; and allow for enhanced public open space by realigning the public access area and visual corridor requirements. This will complement the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, developing open spaces including Bushwick Inlet Park and the proposed Williamsburg Bridge Park.

RPA believes the modifications under review are warranted and will be an improvement over the previous plan. I want to express our support for this important project for its expected benefits to North Brooklyn, New York City and the region. This is the type of borough development needed in New York as it creates diverse types of housing, community facilities and open spaces in growing areas of the city. Plans by the developer to provide a shuttle bus to take residents and workers to the Driggs Avenue entrance of the L train and by the MTA for new bus service in the area are important to support this project. In the future, an East River Ferry stop at Domino might further reduce pressure on the L train and the JMZ line.