It's been awfully quiet at the Domino Sugar Factory lately, which can only mean one thing: time for the community groups to swoop back in! The current $2 billion project encompasses 2,200 new units designed by architect Rafael Viñoly, plus a Beyer Blinder Belle-designed addition to three landmarked buildings collectively referred to as "The Refinery," all of which has been greenlit by LPC and the city's planning commission. As Architectural Record reported in September, however, developers Community Preservation Corporation Resources (CPCR) and Katan Group are "in search of additional investors" before construction begins in 2012.
In that downtime, the Williamsburg Independent People (WIP) group is hyping an alternative plan that makes like London's remade Bankside Power Station-turned-Tate Modern and "envisions the site as a mixed-use cultural hub that includes galleries, event spaces, a hotel, and a marina, as well as 200 affordable housing units" (compared to Viñoly's 600). The primary argument concerns the neighborhood's infrastructure: the group argues that so many new residents will require expensive upgrades to transportation and sewer systems and that an arts center "won’t be a burden to the government but will pay its own way." (Interesting idea, but we know a few non-profits that might beg to differ.) On the money-making front, WIP proposes a gallery-condo function, where regular Joes can pay to display their art collections.
· Sweeter Dreams [The Architect's Newspaper]
· The New Domino [Arch Record]
· Judge Clears Williamsburg's Domino for Construction [Curbed]
· Domino Sugar Factory coverage [Curbed]