Domino developer hopes to sweeten housing debate

A Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing about the abandoned Domino sugar factory in Williamsburg pitted preservationists against housing advocates Tuesday.

One side of the argument would like to see the factory given landmark status. Those in favor of making the century-old refinery a landmark said it would preserve the character of the community.

However, others want to see additional housing built for seniors and low-income families. They fear giving the factory landmark status could jeopardize additional affordable housing in the area.

The owner of the factory, Community Preservation Corporation, says it has a plan that can work for both sides. CPC wants to convert the factory into 2,200 apartments, of which about 30 percent would be affordable units. At the same time, the company?s plan calls for the preservation of certain aspects of the factory.

Representatives for Churches United, a group that is calling for affordable housing, says they don?t want preservation efforts to cut down on the number of affordable units in the plan. Members of the group say if there?s a way to institute preservation without cutting back on affordable housing, they?ll support the plan.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission hasn?t set a date for a vote on the factory?s status.

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