Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz is backing the controversial $1.2 billion plan to bring 2,200 new apartments to the former Domino Sugar factory site in Williamsburg.
Markowitz Friday endorsed the project – which still faces an uphill battle with local Council member Steve Levin opposing it – saying the development “appropriately celebrates our waterfront and understands the need for affordable housing in Brooklyn.”
The beep, however, wants some minor revisions to developer Isaac Kataan and CPC Resources’ proposal. They include:
* Trimming the overall bulk and density, particularly on the upland parcel.
* Making documented, binding commitments for permanent affordable housing, including for the elderly, with eligibility for community preference extended to those displaced.
* Making commitments to provide the space for a supermarket, school and possible artisan establishments.
* Public transit improvements, including increased bus service to the L and G and J/M/Z subway lines, and increased L train service.
Michael Lappin, CEO of CPC Resources, was obviously sweet over Markowitz’s support.
“We are particularly gratified by his recognition of the many significant public values the development brings to the community,” he said. “His approval, with modifications, underscores the need for a balanced approach to create a viable, attractive mixed-income development.”
Despite the beep’s support, the project faces an uphill battle with both Levin and Brooklyn Democratic Party Boss Vito Lopez against it.
The project will next go to the city Planning Commission where it will likely be endorsed because Mayor Bloomberg has said he supports it.
But the City Council will ultimately decide the project's fate and usually backs the wishes of the local council member – in this case, Levin (D-Brooklyn) -- on land-use issues. Levin is the ex-chief of staff and a major ally of Lopez, who himself wields great influence over the council.
Levin says the project is too large and would create transportation woes in the area, as has Community Board 1.
The project is gearing up to become yet another big political battle over development in North Brooklyn.
One of Lopez’s biggest critics, Councilwoman Diana Reyna, a Bushwick Democrat supports the project.
Reyna won re-election in November despite Lopez’s opposition, but couldn’t convince the rest of the Council to shoot down the Lopez-backed Broadway Triangle development project in Bushwick in December.
The mixed-use project Domino project on the Williamsburg waterfront also includes four acres of public recreation space, 274,000 square feet of retail space, and an esplanade overlooking Manhattan. It needs city approval for a zoning change to allow for residential use because the 11.2-acre footprint was not part of the 2005 neighborhood rezoning.
The project, the second-biggest in Brooklyn behind Atlantic Yards, came under fire last year over the possibility that the illuminated "Domino Sugar" sign would be lost. But the developer opted to keep it following massive opposition from residents.
from: Robert Seng and Lisa HeinGreetings Brooklyn neighbors,
You knew about this, right? We were handed this flyer by Rami Metal, our city council rep Steve Levin's right hand man. Rami says at least 50 people must sign up to testify against the Domino plan, or "they will roll right over us".
From neighborhood battles with developers in the West Village, and with DOT here in Brooklyn, we have to say that, on a local level, it pays to speak up.
We will be out of town on a job tomorrow, but will send Rami our comments at: firstname.lastname@example.org