Sour on Williamsburg ‘Sugar' Condos

From the top of her building at 330 Wythe Avenue in Williamsburg, Stephanie Eisenberg can see nearly all of two boroughs: the Williamsburg bridge, the United Nations, One Hanson Place, Greenpoint's sewage treatment plant. But she prefers to look out over Brooklyn, with its church steeples and elevated subway tracks.

It's lucky, because her view over the East River is slated to change in 2009, when the approximately 2,400-unit New Domino condominium development breaks ground at what is now the Domino Sugar Refinery across the street. With at least four buildings rising to 30 stories or more, the 11.2-acre project will no doubt transform the waterfront. The question is, how?

With condo sales slowing across the borough – down 38.2 percent annually in the third quarter, according to appraisal firm Miller Samuel – Ms. Eisenberg is more convinced than ever: The New Domino plans must be scrapped. As head of Save Domino, a community group, she argues the site could be put to better use, namely as the Domino Center, a sprawling cultural institution modeled after London's contemporary art museum, the Tate Modern.

"It's time to rethink some of these gigantic projects and look at something in a more creative way," she said. "The last thing this city needs is another 1,800 market-rate condominiums."  read more »

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