Tate With A Twist at former Domino factory
by Andrew Shilling
Jun 05, 2013 | 1533 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Drivers heading toward Manhattan on the Brooklyn Bridge caught a glimpse of the Williamsburg Independent People’s (WIP) proposal to buy back the Domino Sugar Factory last Thursday night.

While motorists might not have readily understood the large illuminating projection of the group’s proposal on side of the factory at 316 Kent Ave., the message was sent that there is some displeasure when it comes to the future of the historic Brooklyn landmark.

Leah Kreger, a neighborhood architect and member of WIP, helped organize the event to oppose Two Trees Management’s all-residential plan for the 11-acre site along the East River.

“We are announcing our intentions to buy it back with an alternate plan we call the Tate With A Twist,” Kreger said.

Modeled after the Tate Modern Gallery on the River Thames in Bankside, London, WIP’s proposal would convert the factory into a cultural center, offering affordable housing, private museum spaces, additional floors for a hotel, a marina, a commercial boardwalk, technology center and rooftop gardens.

Tate With A Twist is similar to a plan to a plan in Britain for the conversion of the former Bankside Power Station to maintain the historic integrity of the factory and the neighborhood.

The group also proposes that the facility operate on a series of geothermic, wind, wave and solar producing mechanisms.

According to Kreger, the plan will sell 20,000-square-foot parcels as museum space to private collectors and foundations that would then finance 100 percent affordable housing.

“We’re currently looking at doing fundraising in the community and actively looking for a buyer who wants to develop this alternate plan,” Kreger said. “We have to let the elected officials know that the people are behind this.”

While Assemblyman Joseph Lentol said the group has good intentions, and still opposes certain factors in the Two Trees approach, he does not think the plan is the optimal approach for the space.

“I think that both things work, but I’m more encouraged about the practicality of the Two Trees proposal,” Lentol said.

He added that he supports the group’s intentions and the community’s search for a better, alternative strategy.

“I’m encouraged by the fact that there are thoughtful proposals out there,” he said.

The projections from last week’s light show demonstration came from the van of The Illuminator Collective, a Gowanus-based group that started assisting protestors with delivering their message during the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011.

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