MHC 250: Mini Planning Project                                                                                                                                                                    Group Members: Ioana Paunescu and Jacquelyn Lekhraj

Recreating the Domino Sugar Factory of Williamsburg

The Domino Sugar refinery helped lead New York sugar-production worldwide. Operating from 1880 to 2004, the “Domino plant employed 4,500 workers, processed 3 million pounds of sugar daily, and was the largest refinery in the world.” Currently the building is out of use. The Domino Sugar Factory remains a center of debate because of plans to preserve the refinery and its surrounding area as a landmark, while others want to create large buildings offering affordable housing. There was a recent plan to reinvent the area of the Domino factory. This plan involved creating a residential complex with four acres of public land and 2,200 apartments. The local Community Board rejected this $1.2 billion plan. City Council member Steve Levin spoke against this project, which would add 6,000 residents to this Williamsburg area, a 25% increase.  The MTA also added that the new development would overcrowd the already densely populated L train line.  It is clear that the Domino Sugar Factory is a reminder of New York City’s industrial and manufacturing past. For that reason, we propose the creation of an arts and cultural center, which would include museums, theaters, open public space, and the Sugar Refinery Building as a landmark/museum.  After further research, we will determine which additions are best suited for this area, particularly keeping in mind the opinions of Williamsburg residents and potential economic growth for this area.

The Historic Domino Sugar Factory