Two towers for Two Trees
Developer’s dual tower plan in Williamsburg begins rezoning process
BY KIRSTYN BRENDLEN
The city offi cially allowed
a massive development on the
Williamsburg Waterfront to begin
the long journey through
the arduous rezoning process
— potentially altering Brooklyn’s
skyline with two enormous
towers, a new park, and
If the plan gets fi nal approval,
Two Trees Management
would erect a 64-story
tower and a 49-story tower that
would house a combined 1,050
apartments, with 263 units earmarked
as “affordable” under
the city’s Mandatory Inclusionary
Most of the affordable housing
units would be slated for
residents making 60 percent
of the area’s median income
— with rents hovering around
$1,427 for a one bedroom, and
$1,963 for a three bedroom.
The proposal — designed by
famed architect Bjarke Ingels
— now enters the seven-month
Uniform Land Use Review Procedure
COURIER L 34 IFE, AUGUST 20-26, 2021
(ULURP), during which
Community Board 1 and the
borough president will provide
advisory recommendations, before
binding votes by the mayor,
the City Planning Commission,
and the City Council.
Because of the COVID pandemic,
Two Trees was forced to
delay their ULURP application,
which they’d hoped to complete
before the end of 2021. Now, the
company will need the okay
from the next mayor and the
City Council, all of whom will
take offi ce in January 2022.
First, though, Community
Board 1 will host a meeting of
their Land Use committee on
Sept. 1, and a full board meeting
on Sept. 14.
Though it will be the beginning
of ULURP for the project,
it’s not the fi rst time Two Trees
has gone before the civic panel
— two meetings in early 2020
brought packed houses and
mixed reviews from attendees.
“The community board
vote is obviously advisory, but
it means a lot to us,” said Dave
Lombino, a Two Trees rep.
Lombino pointed to the company’s
past redevelopment of
the narby Domino Sugar Plant
as evidence of their commitment
to the local community.
“We won approval from the
community board for Domino
in 2013, and I think we have met
and exceeded expectations on
that project from a community
perspective,” he said.
Two Trees purchased the
site of the proposed towers on
River Street from Con Edison
for $150 million in late 2019.
The site was used by the utility
company to store oil and
gas containers until the late
90s, though empty tankers remained
until 2011. The lot has
since been remediated for contamination
left over from its industrial
In addition to the apartments,
the interior of the mixeduse
towers would feature offi ce
space, along with a YMCA with
a swimming pool.
About 25 percent of the surface
level lot space would be occupied
The proposed developments on the Williamsburg waterfront. Two Trees
by the footprints of the
towers. The remaining 75 percent
would see outdoor amenities
like a publicly-accessible
plaza and a large waterfront
public park, including two
beaches and new breakwaters
doubling as nature trails.
Planning Comission chair
Melissa Lago said the proposal
is “one of the most complex private
applications we’ve ever
seen,” noting later that she anticipated
a “lively discussion”
when the project returns to the
commission in a few months.
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