On Thursday, April 20, developer Two Trees Management announced that in the summer of 2018, the giant new public park will open along the Williamsburg waterfront. The park is one component of the overall Domino redevelopment project.
The new waterfront park will span a quarter of a mile and be called Domino Park. The same firm that headed the construction of the High Line, James Corner Field Operations, have designed this new park.
According to Curbed New York, “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.”
Artifacts from the old Dominos factory will be displayed for visitors throughout the park; including 585 linear feet of crane tracks, 21 columns from the sugar warehouse as well as the 36-feet tall cylindrical tanks that were used during the refining process to collect syrup. Gardens and lawns with seating areas, sports fields and playgrounds will also be featured at the park. River Street will also be extended from Grand Street to South 5th Street.
In a statement, principal at James Corner Field Operations Lisa Switkin said, “We were deeply inspired by community input and the site’s rich history when creating Domino Park. 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.”
Although the exact opening date has not been released by Two Trees, Domino Park is expected to open before any of the residential buildings in the project are finished. The first residential building that is scheduled to open soon after the park, will be 325 Kent. Curbed reports, “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.”
In a statement, Two Trees’ principal Jed Walentas said, “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. Weaving in industrial remnants of the factory, Domino Park will serve as a living, breathing reminder of the history of this storied neighborhood.”
In the end, 2,800 new residential rental units will be provided by the Domino redevelopment project, and a quarter of these apartments will be affordable housing.
By Mark Snyder