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With Key Deal, Domino Development Nears Final Approval

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Two Trees' plan to redevelopment the Domino Sugar Factory with some SHoP-tastic towers is thisclose to being 100 percent approved and ready to roll. Yesterday, the City Council Land Use Committee gave the megaproject the go ahead, reaching a deal for affordable housing after weeks of tense negotiations with the de Blasio administration. Two Trees agreed to certain affordable housing requirements, and in exchange, the developer can build towers up to 55 stories tall. The Journal reports that the deal locks in an average rent for the affordable units that makes them available for families of four making about $60,000, which is about 70 percent of the area median income. This agreement comes just a few weeks after Two Trees agreed to increase the number of below market rate units from 660 to 700 and increase the average size of the units to make them more suitable for families.

In addition to zoning changes that will allow taller buildings, Two Trees will also get subsidies, "if needed [...] to ensure these levels of affordability," according to city councilman and chairman of the Land Use Committee David Greenfield. Originally, there was no direct city subsidy for the developer, but now tax-exempt financing will be available. The full City Council will vote on the development, which will have a total of 2,282 apartments, on Tuesday, April 29 Wednesday, May 14.

The Domino development is the first major land-use proposal to come before the new administration, which promised to build more affordable housing with less subsidies for developers. The Journal says negotiations about the future of the site were "unusually long-running," which is putting in rather mildly.

The site was first purchased by CPC Resources a decade ago, and in 2010, they signed a deal for redevelopment that would have created a 2,000-unit project with 30 percent of the units being affordable. But that deal collapsed, CPC ran into some financial and legal troubles, and Two Trees swooped in and bought the site for $185 million in 2012.

Demolition of some of the factory buildings is already underway, and work on the first building is expected to being in December.
· Domino Site Deal Reached [WSJ]
· Azúcar: Crucial City Council vote goes Walentas' way [BK Eagle]
· All Domino coverage [Curbed]