After receiving a resounding rejection from the local Community Board last week, another blow was dealt last night to an ambitious $1.2-billion plan to turn the landmark Domino Sugar Refinery site in Williamsburg into a residential complex with 2,200 apartments and four acres of public park on the waterfront. At a public hearing held by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, freshman City Council member Steve Levin came out against the project, which could spell much bigger trouble for developers than the Community Board’s vote, because Council members typically defer to the local councilmember on land-use issues. At last night’s hearing, an aide read from a statement explaining Levin’s objections:
The project is simply too big. Too big, too high, too many people. The plan would introduce over 6,000 new residents to the neighborhood, a nearly 25-percent population increase for the half-mile area surrounding the site. How does everyone get to work? [The L] train is over capacity during morning rush hour as it is.
An environmental impact study found the development would increase rush hour subway ridership in the area by 1,350 people and have a “significant adverse impact” on the transit system. Domino developers insist that increased ferry service to Manhattan would reduce that impact, as would a potential MTA plan to replace the M train with the V, theoretically giving Domino residents a direct link to midtown from Marcy Avenue and alleviating pressure on the L.