Domino Park Nears Public Debut As Crane Rises for COOKFOX-Designed 260 Kent Avenue

Masterplan look for the Domino Sugar Factory Redevelopment, rendering courtesy Two TreesMasterplan look for the Domino Sugar Factory Redevelopment, rendering courtesy Two Trees

In less than eight weeks, the Domino Sugar Factory’s  redevelopment is expected to open up six acres of landscaped public space on 1,200 feet of the Williamsburg waterfront. Two Trees Management is developing the land, immediately north of the Williamsburg Bridge. The master plan includes square-arch motifs in three of the four new buildings, indicative of this project’s relationship with the bridge as the gateway to North Brooklyn. The public space has been designed by James Corner Field Operations, who also designed the new High Line Park.

Domino Sugar Refinery, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

Domino Sugar Refinery, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

SHoP Architects are responsible for the 3,300,000 square foot master plan, which will create 2,100 market-rate rental apartments, and 700 affordable units for low-income people. 600,000 square feet of office space will be included, as well as 200,000 square feet of retail. PAU is leading the refinery’s design. Completion is expected in the early 2020’s.

Domino Sugar Factory Refinery, rendering courtesy Two Trees

Domino Sugar Factory Refinery, rendering courtesy Two Trees

The construction of the COOKFOX-designed 260 Kent Avenue on the northern end of the site has also started making noticeable progress. Once complete, it will be the second residential building to open in the development, the first being the SHoP Architects-designed 325 Kent Avenue. The site’s crane was recently installed, and foundational work is progressing. All this indicates that the structure is getting ready to go vertical in the very near future. Once complete, the 42-story building will create 330 apartments.

260 Kent Avenue, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

260 Kent Avenue, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

260 Kent Avenue closeup, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

260 Kent Avenue closeup, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

The green space is opening for public use well before completion of the sugar factory offices and the three residential buildings. This was done to fulfill a commitment Two Trees made to the community, highlighting the team’s commitment to integrate the new high-rise development with the extant neighborhood. A Two Trees representative, in response to a question regarding the decision to have rental units, stated that “Condos finish after the first sale. Rental units require a long-term commitment to the neighborhood to maintain the value of the property.”

This assurance is in large part why the developers decided to make the park as usable and accommodating as possible while acknowledging the site’s history.

The Domino Park will be bordered by a privately-funded road named River Street, which will be open to cars and bicycles as soon as eight weeks from now. It is expected to see light traffic, minimizing the impact on the flow of the area.

Look at River Street, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

Look at River Street, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

Starting from the southern end, visitors to the 260,000 square-foot landscaped space will walk through a Japanese Pine garden, which will lead them to an 80-100 person picnic area and the Artifact Walk, a functional outdoor gallery referencing the sugar factory’s history as a refinery satisfying international demand from 1856 to 2004.

Picnic area beside the former Warehouse walkway, rendering courtesy Two Trees

Picnic area beside the former Warehouse walkway, rendering courtesy Two Trees

A taco and margarita stand named Tacocina will be located at the northern base of a 585-foot long elevated walkway attached to the remnants of the Raw Sugar Warehouse.

Children's Playground, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

Steel columns of the former Raw Sugar Warehouse, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

That warehouse had been the site for the widely admired Kara Walker sugar Sphinx sculptural installation. The Artifact Walk repurposes discovered machinery to add to the landscaping, including the screw conveyor parts depicted below.

Artifact Walk, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

Artifact Walk, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

Perhaps most exciting was the recently installed children’s play structure, designed by artist Mark Reigelman, clearly evocative of the refinery history.

Children's Playground, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

Children’s Playground, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

Much of the waterfront esplanade has been installed. Trees have already been planted on site, and perennials, lawns are coming soon. At this point, most of the land has been prepared and is just waiting for the finishing touches.

Domino Park's Highline, rendering courtesy Two Trees

Domino Park’s Highline, rendering courtesy Two Trees

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9 Comments on "Domino Park Nears Public Debut As Crane Rises for COOKFOX-Designed 260 Kent Avenue"

  1. Please pardon me for using your space: I cared every spot because I’m excited on massive progress.

  2. You call this a park?
    Well, that’s what happened when a bunch of architects take over the design of non-building areas…

  3. David in Bushwick | April 9, 2018 at 6:10 pm | Reply

    That industrial looking playground by Mark Reigelman is simply brilliant – perhaps the best design for the entire development.
    This will be the second new residential tower built right next to a suspension bridge with nearly non-stop subway trains screeching by. Why anyone would pay to live adjacent to that noise is a real mystery.

  4. Arjun in East Wburg | April 9, 2018 at 7:09 pm | Reply

    This is beautiful! It’s exactly what South Williamsburg needs. I can’t wait to go there every weekend.

  5. This is horrible. 41 stories is about 33 1/2 stories TOO high for the neighbourhood. Good bye ( again ) Williamsburg you are gone
    forever.

  6. I think it should be fun and there is a lot of green space.
    The LANDSCAPE architects (people who design parks… distinction from architects…) James Corner Field Op are an amazing bunch of talented people so im excited to see what they’ve come up with. It also looks like the best place to relax in williamsburg.. way better than McCarren Park.
    The height of the buildings though is a bit iffy… its like dumbo 2.0

  7. Jorge latorre | April 16, 2018 at 8:04 am | Reply

    Not only Wlliamsburg is lost but also the skyline of the iconic Brookling bridge from the sea is damaged for ever. Welcome especulators from over the world, Good bye NYC!

  8. Looks amazing! Can’t wait till this opens.

  9. Waterfront parks are great because they feature the skyline and give you a feeling of space. The rivers make NYC special. But you know what’s even more special than parks? Affordable housing. The monstrous futuristic edifices surrounding this park (and all of Brooklyn) are an insult to every working and middle-class New Yorker whose neighborhoods are being gentrified beyond recognition. I predict the next “park” will be called Squatters Park. Maybe our progressive mayor can make a deal with LLBean to distribute tents and portable heaters at a discount so we can be nice and cozy in the middle of January.

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