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potential commercial, open space and community uses at the Domino site were compiled from input provided by neighborhood leaders and residents at several community input meetings held in Williamsburg in December 2012. Two Trees is taking all of these suggestions seriously and will be evaluating and prioritizing potential components for the finite amount of space and resources available for such amenities. COMMERCIAL SPACE • Need mixed use development to allow new creative economy in Williamsburg to grow o Residential-only development leads to risk of becoming “commuter suburb” Open floor plates/flexible sizes/minimal finishes are what businesses want Supply of appropriate space extremely low Step-up spaces key for allowing growth – i.e., 1,000 sq. ft. to 5,000 or 10,000 sq. feet Mixture of different size spaces in same building the key o Allows small biz to move to larger space in same area when they grow from 4 employees to 50 o Hard to move your business to space in area when you reach 10-35 employees o Larger spaces can cross subsidize smaller spaces Chelsea Market model – retail draw on bottom, office space up top • Small manufacturing needs similar space – electronics, musical equipment, film industry • While co-working space is great, it’s extremely expensive on a per-square-foot basis once you grow a little • Sense of “community of businesses” important for successful commercial building o General assembly space and shared conference rooms o Interesting mix of businesses generates networking and cross-pollination of ideas • “Vibe” of neighborhood and space very important – it’s why Gowanus is more attractive to many creative economy businesses than Downtown Brooklyn o Local amenities important – food, bars, dog parks • 500-600K sq. feet in a commercial building should definitely be enough to create “critical mass” for attractive building (as outlined above) • 3rd Ward model is successful, but generates “less flow” because of more expensive classes than model like General Assembly in Manhattan (one-off, $25 classes attract large numbers and creates “flow”)
• Improved bus service/shuttle buses will be important • There is demand here for artisan production o How to coexist with existing neighborhood? • Neighborhood service retail • Office space o Creative businesses • Need mid-week traffic and commerce to support businesses, not just weekend crowds o Larger commercial spaces help? o Retail must be supported by commercial traffic and office workers • Food industry important • Paris viaduct an interesting model o Small artisan workshops • Must create opportunities for local residents • Large commercial hotel o Will spur commercial traffic to support local workforce • Lack of office space in neighborhood hurts expansion/growth of local businesses looking to grow here • Union Station model o Good opportunity for small biz • Need to connect to local job training • Incubator ideas o Food industry in Brooklyn is “sexy” Food biz needs small space – 500-1,000 sq. feet Build out costs are big issue in neighborhood Shared kitchens Showroom/retail opportunities “Step up space” is key! “Hubs” model with variety of spaces o Need entity to give support and provide infrastructure – vetting and selection of businesses o Photography a micro economy • Commercial use is key – Need for “step up spaces” is significant • Need to respect existing businesses and be part of community – “Can’t be a stand alone village” • Supermarket o High quality, diverse, like Trader Joes o Affordable shopping options needed • Don’t want: box stores, more CVS, more bars • Locally owned, small, independent businesses are ideal • Street walls need active, appealing facades and connection to street • YMCA and youth activities o Indoor and outdoor • No need for another elementary school – still under-enrolled now • Transportation infrastructure important for any uses • Arts community can serve as economic draw o Galleries and studios? 2
Green manufacturing/light industrial o 3rd Ward model good, but more affordability is key Commercial affordability for small businesses important Grocery store? Needs to be affordable Live-work space needed – price point is key
OPEN SPACE • Active uses o Ice skating rink o Active sports like handball, basketball o Running track or trails – options for different types of paths for different uses • Waterfront o Boat launch is ideal o Impacts during construction on Brooklyn waterfront greenway a concern • Support for Grand Ferry Park important • Impacts to consider on open space o Flooding o Power plant • Storm water management and leadership on flooding important • Community gardens – participatory gardening • Dog park • Outdoor space reflect artistic neighborhood? Outdoor art? • Environmental education opportunities • Easy public access and resources for good maintenance the key! • Differing levels/structures/sightlines for open space • Small outdoor theater/performance space o Baretto Park in Hunts Point a good model • Study impacts of walls on wind tunnel effect • Active uses o Handball o Volleyball o Basketball o Track/exercise o Skateboard park Must be high quality, “real” skate park o Mini golf/batting cages o High quality kids play areas (not just a few swings and jungle gym) o Ice skating in winter • Waterfront uses o Canoe/kayak launch o Floating swimming pool o Beach • Passive o Rain garden • Outdoor activities should be organized and coordinated with indoor community center/activities 3
• Family oriented events/space are key • Waterfront education center Environmental installations Rain garden Materials – permeable pavement into beach? Native plants – incorporate history Farmers market Hydroponic farm (rooftop farms in neighborhood) Marina? Sloop Clearwater model? Community garden Waterfront dining possible? (Inwood model)? Environmental mitigation
COMMUNITY FACILITIES • Schools are needed, but middle/HS specific to creative economy workforce needs – technology, trades, manufacturing, design, etc. (Williamsburg HS for Architecture and Design a great model) • Small theater/conference/event/expo space really needed in Williamsburg o 100 person meeting room/theater o Available for tech expos, community meetings, product launches, etc. o Flexible spaces/classrooms o “Super shared conference rooms” – large enough for above • Latino arts and culture destination o Community theater o Classrooms/workshop space around it o 50 – 60K sq. ft. total o Human rights museum o Multi-purpose facility with theater as the center o Flexible, affordable space - Graduations, Dinners, Concerts Municipal parking New school not priority number one Local schools “under-enrolled”, but issues with charters and co-location New high school the bigger need • Instead of new school, invest resources in existing schools in community instead? • Flexible community facilities/spaces are key • Family friendly recreation – YMCA • Environmental resource center • Overall concluding point: Job training and access to jobs important to community Access to construction jobs, apprenticeships • Flexible community theater a real need 4
• • • • • • • • • •
o Flexible uses, for community meetings, performances, talks, etc. o 100-300 people? Museum space – cultural references to local history Children’s art and science museum? Culture and Arts Center that reflects diversity of the neighborhood Child care Affordable recreation o YMCA/Asphalt Green model Climbing wall Interim uses would be good Flea market/farmers market Overall design should highlight connection to Williamsburg Bridge Finally, need commitment to hiring during construction
CONTACTS: Dave Lombino, Two Trees 718-222-2500 Jamie Van Bramer, Yoswein NY 212-233-5700
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