Developer releases big plans for Domino Park in Williamsburg

Six-acre space to preserve Brooklyn’s industrial past

April 21, 2017 By Scott Enman Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Real estate development firm Two Trees Management announced on Wednesday that Domino Park is on track to open next summer. The quarter-mile-long green space will run along the Williamsburg waterfront in front of the landmarked Domino Sugar Refinery. Renderings by MIR
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Real estate development firm Two Trees Management announced on Wednesday that Domino Park would open next summer in front of the landmarked Domino Sugar Refinery.

The 6-acre, quarter-mile-long green will reclaim the waterway as a public space along Williamsburg’s coast.

Two Trees is redeveloping the Domino Sugar site into an 11-acre mixed-use community. The area will feature residential buildings, office space and Domino Park.


“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,” said Two Trees CEO Jed Walentas.

“Weaving in industrial remnants of the factory, Domino Park will serve as a living, breathing reminder of the history of this storied neighborhood.”

Architecture firm James Corner Field Operations — one of the principal architects on the High Line in Manhattan — is leading design work on the park.

Other notable projects for the company include the Dock Street Roof Terrace in DUMBO, the South Street Seaport and Greenpoint Landing.

Greenpoint landing is a half-mile walkway along the East River on the northernmost section of Greenpoint. The project is one of the first waterfront projects to deal with post-Superstorm Sandy regulations for developments in flood hazard areas.

What is unique about Domino Park is that the common will preserve Brooklyn’s industrial past by repurposing and preserving relics of the factory.

“We were deeply inspired by community input and the site’s rich history when creating Domino Park,” said Senior Principal of James Corner Field Operations Lisa Switkin.

“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.”

The space will feature a five-block-long “Artifact Walk” that will be adorned with original gantry cranes, syrup tanks, screw conveyors, mooring bollards, bucket elevators, various dials and meters and other historical remnants from the factory.

The 450-foot-long elevated walkway will run along the footprint of the warehouse where the factory’s sugar was originally stored.

That space also served as the site for Kara Walker’s 2014 pop-up “A Subtlety or the Marvelous Sugar Baby,” a 35-foot-high sphinxlike sculpture made out of four tons of sugar.

The inspiration for the Artifact Walk came from the original complex of buildings being connected by catwalks.

The park will also preserve 21 raw sugar warehouse columns, roughly 585 linear feet of crane tracks and more than 30 industrial artifacts.

The esplanade will feature sports fields, lawns, gardens, seating and a children’s play area.

In addition, there will easier access to the waterfront as River Street, which currently ends at Grand Street, will be extended to South Fifth Street.

The landmarked Domino Sugar Refinery building will be converted into a 380,000-square-foot office campus.

Two Trees will preserve the historic facade and quintessential Brooklyn “Domino Sugar” sign, which has indelibly marked the neighborhood.

Other Brooklyn parks have also salvaged historic elements of the borough’s industrial past.

The “Kentile Floors” sign, which once towered over Gowanus, was donated to the neighborhood nonprofit Gowanus Alliance after the building below the sign was bought.

The Gowanus Alliance hopes to install the letters from the sign in the Fran Brady Under the Tracks Playground on 10th Street between 2nd and 3rd avenues.

The park was closed in the late ’90s by the MTA, but there are plans to reopen it with new seating, greenery and basketball courts. The letters from the famed sign will be placed on 10-foot-high planters.

In addition, Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Tidal Marsh at John Street next to the Manhattan Bridge was created with footings of industrial buildings and original Belgian block and railroad tracks from the Jay Street Plaza.


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