Creative Domino makeover brings Two Trees to Landmarks hearing

Landmarks Preservation Commission will scrutinize design at a Tuesday hearing

October 30, 2017 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Here is Two Trees Management's new design plan for its makeover of the landmarked Domino Sugar Refinery building. Rendering by PAU courtesy of Two Trees Management
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How sweet it is!

Two Trees Management has revealed new plans for turning the landmarked Domino Sugar Refinery building into a techie-friendly office building.

On Tuesday, at a public hearing in Lower Manhattan, the city Landmarks Preservation Commission ( LPC) will pass judgment on the Walentas family company’s new concept for adaptively reusing the Williamsburg waterfront factory.

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The developer cannot move forward with the factory’s makeover without the LPC’s approval.

Architecture firm PAU is the designer of the new makeover plans for the old factory.

According to materials PAU submitted to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, Two Trees Management now wants to construct a modern building inside the historic brick walls of the refinery at 292-314 Kent Ave.

The modern building would have its own exterior walls. It would be topped with a “crystalline barrel-vaulted structure” that would rise above the factory’s roof, according to PAU’s website.

The vacant sugar refinery is located in the middle of an 11-acre redevelopment site where Two Trees Management has already been working for several years. The new buildings the developer is constructing there are residential and include a significant affordable-housing component.

Leasing is ongoing at the first new building to be constructed, 325 Kent Ave. Rents for currently available market-rate apartments range from $2,570 per month for a studio to $6,180 per month for a two-bedroom unit, the building’s website indicates.

Yellow neon ‘Domino’ sign is included in the design

Domino Sugar Refinery design drawings indicate that a yellow-neon sign that says “Domino” will be attached to the outside of the factory building. The inclusion of the iconic sign was also part of Two Trees Management’s previous makeover plans for the factory.

The “Domino” sign was originally affixed to a building the developer demolished to make way for development.

The idea of constructing a modern building inside the walls of a historic structure was used to create a theater for arts organization St. Ann’s inside Brooklyn Bridge Park’s historic Tobacco Warehouse.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission previously approved a makeover of the Domino factory. That plan called for the construction of additional floors on top of the building.

The historic structure’s official name is the Havemeyers & Elder Filter, Pan & Finishing House. It is actually a cluster of three American round-arch-style buildings constructed in 1881 to 1884.

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