City Council Approves Two Trees River Ring Proposal

The Williamsburg waterfront is set to get a whole lot different.

Last week, the New York City Council approved the revised version River ring proposal for the Williamsburg waterfront, ushering in a revolutionary mixed-use development that will provide 263 residences for low- and middle-income New Yorkers, out of 1,050 new units. The project was unanimously approved by 48 members of the Council. Two Trees Management plans to begin construction in 2024.

Highlights of the River Ring Waterfront Master Plan include:

  • New affordable housing, including 263 permanently affordable apartments (out of a total of 1050 units on site), which feature the same design and amenities as market-priced units, available at an average of 60% AMI with some units as low as 40% FRIEND.
  • Over 150 new affordable housing units for seniors, to be built in Community Council 1 on land funded by Two Trees.
  • A 3 hectare public park which will be funded and maintained by Two Trees Management, as well as an additional 3 acres designated for previously unavailable in-water recreational activities including kayaking, marine ecology, education, intertidal wetlands and an accessible beach.
  • $ 100 million investment in resilience infrastructure and an open space as well that protects hundreds of properties upstream and upstream of the River Ring.
  • A state-of-the-art 50,000 square foot YMCA facility offering a full-service community swimming program that includes free swimming lessons for second year CB1 students.
  • 2,000 construction jobs and more than 500 permanent jobs with a subsidized training program and local hiring, in collaboration with local workforce development partners.
  • $ 1.75 million in funding for community initiatives, including a new environmental benefits fund to help renovate neighborhood buildings and a large community neighborhood open space planning study to connect new and existing parks.
  • Green technology and sustainable design, including a commitment to all-electric buildings and the development of on-site wastewater treatment.
  • Ongoing constructive dialogue with community partners to provide new access to the seafront and support environmental justice and education.

The River Ring Waterfront Master Plan, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and James Corner Field Operations (Field Operations), will improve public waterfront connectivity, restore natural habitats, raise the standard of urban waterfront resilience and transform the way New Yorkers interact with the East River.

“The River Ring project is different from almost all waterfront development proposals, and Two Trees is a pioneer in how we can build innovative public spaces in a way that directly addresses the impacts of climate change,” said Cortney Koenig Worrall, CEO and Chairman of Waterfront Alliance. “The project promises to transform New Yorkers’ relationship to water while protecting communities from rising waters by using technologies that honor the local habitat, raising the bar for how we, as city, can build safety and responsibly along our waterfronts. “


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