The massive new public park coming to the Williamsburg waterfront as part of the overall Domino redevelopment project will open in the summer of 2018, developer Two Trees Management announced on Thursday.
Designed by James Corner Field Operations, the same firm that was the lead on the High Line, Domino Park, as the waterfront park will be called, will stretch a quarter of a mile and bring with it a new waterfront esplanade and six acres of parkland.
Much like the High Line weaves through the high-rises now taking shape in West Chelsea, Domino Park will weave its way through the 11-acre Domino megaproject and incorporate many of the historic elements of the sugar factory that once operated out of this site.
The highlight of the park perhaps is a 450-foot-long elevated walkway that will be called the Artifact Walk. The approximately five-block long walkway will run along the footprint of the warehouse that stored the sugar (that also housed Kara Walker’s acclaimed exhibit). The Artifact Walk was inspired by the series of catwalks that connected the buildings on the Domino site when it was still a sugar factory. Going one step further, James Corner Field has decided to incorporate large pieces of machinery from the sugar factory, with two 80-foot tall cranes being placed at the northern end of this walkway.
That’s not the only place James Corner Field decided to preserve portions of the historic factory. Throughout the six-acre park, visitors will find artifacts from the old factory like 585 linear feet of crane tracks, 36-feet tall cylindrical tanks that collected syrup during the refining process, and 21 columns from the sugar warehouse.
In addition, the waterfront park will feature sports fields, lawns and gardens with seating, and a children’s play area, not to mention the extension of River Street (which currently ends at Grand Street) all the way to South 5th Street, near the Williamsburg Bridge.
“We were deeply inspired by community input and the site’s rich history when creating Domino Park,” Lisa Switkin, a principal at James Corner Field Operations, said in a statement. “The design of Domino Park aims to create a space that will revitalize the beauty of New York City’s incredible waterfront and foster interest in the history of the site and the surrounding neighborhood.”
Though Two Trees hasn’t provided an exact opening date, we do not that Domino Park will open before any of the residential buildings at the site are complete. The park’s opening will be followed shortly by the opening of the first residential building at the megaproject, 325 Kent. The affordable housing lottery for the building’s 105 affordable units launched last November, and received a staggering 87,000 applicants. Leasing on the doughnut-shaped building’s 395 market-rate units is expected to get underway this June.
“By opening Domino Park in its entirety next summer—ahead of the site’s new waterfront buildings—we are delivering on our commitment to bring waterfront access and much-needed public park space to North Brooklyn,” Jed Walentas, principal at Two Trees, said in a statement. “Weaving in industrial remnants of the factory, Domino Park will serve as a living, breathing reminder of the history of this storied neighborhood.”
Overall the Domino redevelopment project will bring 2,800 new rental apartments to Williamsburg, 700 of which will be affordable.