Everything we know about the Two Trees River Ring

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Ring River will have a beach. But don’t get too excited about swimming there.
Photo-Illustration: Bordered; Photo: Courtesy of James Corner Field Operations and Bjarke Ingels Group

Tonight, River Ring, the next big project developer Two Trees Management is trying to build on the Williamsburg waterfront, will pass Community Board 1 – one of the first major hurdles it must overcome in the process of approval from the city. Two Trees boasts River Ring, which features a pair of futuristic-looking towers designed by Bjarke Ingels and a circular structure of breakwaters jutting out into the East River, surrounded by salt marshes and mud flats designed to absorb sea waves. storm – like “a new model of urban waterfront resilience. Naturally, the renderings feature kayakers and many egrets. Here’s what we know about it all.”

The big selling point of the project is its resilience.
Yes, River Ring would add over 1,000 apartments to a flood zone, but it’s designed to absorb storm surges and with a series of salt marshes and mudflats, the kind of gentle landscape that’s seen as the future of the city. durable design. (A similar arrangement at Hunter’s Point South helped preserve Long Island City during Hurricane Sandy.) According to Two Trees, the design would protect 500 indoor buildings from flooding and provide a protected indoor water park for kayaking and possibly eventually, swimming. The project also features many other eco-friendly design elements, including an energy micro-grid, a wastewater recycling system, and a pop-up park with urban agriculture, beehives, and an 18-inch mini-golf course. holes (Two Trees also set up a temporary park at the Domino Sugar site; this one also had an urban farm and a bike path.) Of course, there’s an argument to be made that maybe we should stop building skyscrapers on the water’s edge. But it doesn’t seem it’s will happen anytime soon.

A quarter of the apartments will be called “very affordable housing”. The entire complex includes 1,050 new housing units, and 263 of these will be designated deeply affordable, half of those reserved for those already living in the community. Most of them – 236 units – will be priced at 60% of the region’s median income, with monthly rents ranging from $ 909 for a studio to $ 1,366 for a one-bedroom. The remaining 27 will be priced at 40% AMI, according to the developer’s current projections. There are, of course, those who say it is not enough; on the other hand, a recent Brooklyn Paper The editorial pointed out that “clearly asking all private landlords to develop only low-income affordable housing is not a realistic request.” Other community sweeteners include a new YMCA and a three-acre public park with three additional acres of protected water access.

Will people really be able to swim on this beach? Maybe someday, but it’s still the East River. “River Ring Beach will not officially be a swimming beach. The hope is that as the water quality continues to improve, it will soon become one, ”according to Two Trees.

Two Trees is also the developer working at the neighboring Domino Sugar site.. David Walentas of Two Trees is generally credited with creating DUMBO as a neighborhood, and the company, now run by his son, Jed, is also behind the 11-acre megaproject just south of the River Ring. The site redevelopment includes four new skyscrapers – one of them the distinctive donut-shaped building at 325 Kent Street designed by SHoP Architects – as well as the transformation of the historic refinery into office and commercial space and the addition of the six-acre Domino Park. If the industrial remains and greenery remind you of the High Line, it’s no surprise – they hired James Corner Field Operations, the same landscape architects. (Field operations would also design River Ring Park, but in response to community input, this park would allow, according to Two Trees, “more direct interaction with the natural habitat of the East River.” is a little steep.) The project also includes many lively retail and restaurants: Misi, Meckleberg’s and Roberta’s, to name a few.

Project rushes through city approval process before Bill de Blasio and Stephen Levin, the local councilor, step down. As Two Trees knows from their experience with Domino Sugar, a change in leadership can mean having to renegotiate a zoning change. With the Community Board hearing scheduled for today, however, the project may have just enough time to go through the land use approval process before de Blasio and Levin disappear. (De Blasio is likely to also want the project approved under his watch, as affordable units would be added to his total count.) If the zoning change does not pass, Two Trees has said it will sell the site, a former ConEd oil tank storage lot they paid $ 150 million for, most likely to an industrial buyer who would use it as a last mile delivery facility.


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