By Linda Collins
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
WILLIAMSBURG — In a surprise to some in the development community, it was reported Tuesday that parts or all of the Domino Sugar factory site on the waterfront in Williamsburg may be available for sale.
As reported in The Commercial Observer, several “people with knowledge of the offering” told the newspaper that the development team — comprised of the Community Preservation Corp. (CPC) and its partner, the Katan Group — “have been shopping all or portions of the potentially $2 billion multi-building development to potential buyers.”
And, as the newspaper noted, it’s only been a little more than a year since the development team received its final approval from the City Council and Department of City Planning for the “New Domino,” as the plan for the site was being called.
Although CPC would not confirm whether it was seeking to sell all or parts of the Domino site, it did say that it was considering its options.
“We are pursuing various options that will achieve our goals: to realize value for ourselves and our partners, and to insure that development is consistent with all project entitlements,” a statement from a company spokesman read.
As the Eagle has reported over several years, plans for the 11-acre waterfront site called for several new buildings, including 30-plus towers, with a total of 2,200 residential units, 660 of which would be affordable. Plans also called for the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of the main refinery building and retention of its large sign as well as retail spaces, parking, a community facility space (possibly a school) and development of a promenade, playground and more open green space.
The sales offer comes as little surprise to people familiar with the CPC, which specializes in building affordable housing.
The Commercial Observer also spoke with several developers who have considered investing in it. Their concerns centered on the large component of affordable housing and the difficulties associated with the rehabilitation of the original refinery building — which needs “substantial structural and renovation work to make it habitable” — and its iconic Domino Sugar sign.