NEW YORK CITY-Two Trees Management issued a Request for Proposals on Friday to entrepreneurs with a vision for a temporary use of a 55,000-square-foot stretch of land at the contentious site of the old Domino Sugar factory, in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Making the offer even tastier, Two Trees will make the space available for any price a user offers to pay, according to the Brooklyn Paper.
Two Trees, which acquired the site this past fall, is seeking something that will appeal to all Williamsburg residents, according to the Real Deal. The developer also wants a responsible group that is well-organized and will be a good neighbor, the paper reports. In addition, Two Trees reportedly expects applicants to include details on the costs of their plans.
The developers are willing to field all responses to the RFP, Dave Lombino, Two Trees’ director of special projects, tells the Brooklyn Paper. “We’re looking for art or recreation or a market or food, the kind of uses that will be popular with a wide range of residents,” he says.
Prospective tenants must put pen to paper—and be ready to get going—quite soon: proposals are due Jan. 31 and the new tenant for the site should be raring to go by March. “It has to be a plan they can put together quickly,” Lombino says, “and they have to need a minimal level of infrastructure.”
Just a few weeks ago, the Deal says, Two Trees met with area residents to get input from area residents on acceptable possible plans for the site. Among the suggestions were an ice rink right on the waterfront, a sports field and running track. Other ideas included community garden space, an area for food trucks, outdoor markets and even a structure similar to the High Line, the Real Deal reports. Previously, affordable housing had been on the table too, but that didn’t come up during the December meeting of Two Trees with area residents.
Leading up to the buy, and even in the days following it, there have been legal battles as well as heated talks with other developers and members of the community over how best to honor the site’s history while giving it a promising future. The original plan for the site called for 2,200 residential units, two 34-story buildings, two other buildings rising up to 30 stories and the restoration of Domino’s building, according to Curbed. The project’s previous developers, a partnership of Community Preservation Corp. and the Katan Group, had planned to make 30% of units affordable, but Two Trees has said in meetings with public officials that the figure might not be feasible, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Locals at one point even suggested taking down the iconic Domino’s logo from the building, but many residents and developers were opposed to that idea, given the logo’s iconic status. The 3.2 acres of unused outdoor space is located on Kent Avenue between South 3rd and South 4th streets.
Clearly the pay-what-you-wish approach won’t allow Two Trees to recoup its investment; it bought the property for $185 million this past October. However, the developer hopes the pop-up venture will create good will with residents, according to the Brooklyn Paper. Representatives for the company did not return calls from GlobeSt.com by deadline Friday.