Two Trees Takes Root in Williamsburg: $160 M. Deal for Domino Complex Closes

Jed Walentas is ready to set up his Domino. (Getty)

So much for those other bidders.

Two Trees has indeed taken over the sprawling Domino Sugar site in South Williamsburg, a deal said to be worth $160 million. CPC Resources, the for-profit arm of non-profit builders CPC that had been developing the site since 2006, announced the deal closed this evening.

“CPCR’s goal for Domino Sugar has always been to bring to the project a well established, reputable real estate company that knows New York and is committed to building neighborhoods and creating communities,” CPC’s President & CEO Rafael Cestero said in a release. “Two Trees is just that, and this deal is a great opportunity to realize our vision for Domino as a vibrant, mixed-income, mixed-use waterfront community and to maximize the economic benefit to CPCR and our partners.”

It was not clear where CPCR’s partner in the project, Brooklyn developer Isaac Katan, stood on the deal. Previously, he had brought litigation against CPC for its decision to sell the valuable real estate. Mr. Katan could not be reached.

Part of the challenge in the pair’s ability to move forward on the project was the fact that it went through a lengthy rezoning process that left the project burdened with a number of community benefits, most notably a requirement that 30 percent of the projects 2,200 apartments be reserved as affordable housing, an unusually high bar for a privately built project.

How Two Trees will grapple with these challenges will be interesting to see. Some neighbors have expressed concern that the developer might try and wriggle out of these commitments, but that seems unlikely given the ire it would create in the community, one in which the company has taken an increasing interest. Just last month, Two Trees opened the Wythe Hotel on the Northside.

When the deal was first revealed earlier this month, The Observer asked Jed Walentas, Two Trees’ principal, if this meant Williamsburg was the new Dumbo. “No,” he replied. “For us, it’s just a good fit for us. There are other things not in Williamsburg that we’re looking at.”

Update:  Two Trees released the following statement from Mr. Walentas:

“The site of the old Domino Sugar Factory offers an unparalleled opportunity to create a new vibrant and mixed-use community, bringing additional housing, jobs, open space and amenities to a long-dormant waterfront parcel. We look forward to working with local and community leaders to bring our expertise and track record of delivering high-quality projects to this wonderful community.”

Two Trees Takes Root in Williamsburg: $160 M. Deal for Domino Complex Closes