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Digging at Domino site set to start next year.

A court has dismissed legal challenges to the proposed redevelopment of the former Domino Sugar refinery in Williamsburg, clearing the way for a giant mixed-use project to begin construction as early as next year.

On Tuesday, May 24, New York State Supreme Court Judge Eileen A. Rakower upheld the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) analysis and municipal approvals for the $2 billion project, which was unanimously approved by the City Council last July.

David Paget of Sive, Paget & Riesel, P.C., who represented developer CPC Resources, Inc., expressed appreciation for the Court's decision.

"The New Domino project is a transformative undertaking, justly heralded for the quality of its design and planning, as well as the many community benefits it will provide," Paget said.

"Judge Rakower rightly acknowledged the thorough and transparent environmental review process that preceded project approval, which went above and beyond all legal requirements."

The project would convert a vacant, formerly industrial site along the East River into open space, community facilities, and commercial and residential properties, including a substantial affordable housing component. It would provide waterfront access for the first time in over a century, while preserving many of the site's historic structures, including the iconic "Domino Sugar" sign.

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The action had been brought by the Williamsburg Community Preservation Coalition, a group of neighboring owners and residents.

Susan Pollock, senior vice president at CPC Resources, Inc., said the developer--a joint venture of The Refinery LLC and Katan Group--was "gratified by the unequivocal and swift decision" made in a rare bench ruling.

"We remain on track to commence construction of the New Domino, the 2,200-unit mixed use development on the Brooklyn waterfront that will contain 660 low-income apartments," said Pollock, noting that the initial residential development on the upland parcel is slated to break ground in 2012.

"The spectacular New Domino will open the Williamsburg waterfront to the public for the first time in almost 150 years and will contain the magnificently preserved landmark Refinery building, a quarter-mile-long riverfront esplanade, and retail, office and community space."

CPC Resources is the managing member of The Refinery LLC and is the for-profit development arm of the Community Preservation Corporation, a not-for-profit corporation formed in 1974 that specializes in financing affordable housing.

CPC bought the now-vacant project site in June 2004, following the closure of sugar processing operations.

Although sugar refining had taken place on the project site since the 1850s, the oldest existing buildings remaining on the site were built in the 1880s and the most recent in the 1960s.

The site operated under the name Domino Sugar until 2001, when the Domino brand was acquired by American Sugar Refining.

American Sugar closed its refining operations on the site in early 2004 with the exception of some limited packaging and warehousing operations, which ceased operating in mid-2004.
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Comment:Digging at Domino site set to start next year.(NEWS)
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Jun 1, 2011
Words:471
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