April 26, 2010
The Lower East River Side
Williamsburg is starting to look like Jersey City these days with it's new skyscraper themed waterfront. Now stage two is being planned on the southern end of the 'Burg, centered around what used to be the Domino Sugar Factory (pictured above).
There is a current exhibit at the American Institute of Architects space on LaGuardia Place showing a potential future for the landmarked site. Rafael Viñoly Architects has designed a plan to remake the 125-year-old industrial complex into an 11.2 acre, mixed-income residential and mixed-use development. What's nice is that they've preserved the Domino Factory at the center of it all. What's not so nice is that, other than some street amenities, it looks just as bland as the Trump West Side Railyard development.
If development continues like this, Williamsburg is soon going to resemble the Upper West Side. Maybe that's the plan, at least for Bloomberg who likes to turn every unique neighborhood into a generic super-hi-rise, vertical version of suburbia. But it would be a shame to see the quirkiness of the 'Burg blanded out like this.