By RICH CALDER, NY Post
The developers planning to convert the old Domino Sugar refinery on the Brooklyn waterfront into condos have forked over at least $577,000 to lobby city officials for a zoning change needed to break ground on the $1.2 billion project, records show.
CPC Resources and Isaac Kataan paid the law firm of Herrick Feinstein $537,802 in 2005 and 2006 to lobby the Planning Department regarding a pending application to have the 11.2-acre industrial tract rezoned for residential use, according to city records.
It also paid lobbyist Michele DeMilly another $40,000 over both years to lobby the City Council, the local community board and other officials. Records for 2007 were unavailable.
The developers' claim that they can't preserve the building with the famous "Domino Sugar" sign is a lot of hot air because they have "endless monies for lobbying," said Williamsburg activist Philip DePaolo.
But Lloyd Kaplan, a spokesman for the developers, said a bulk of the fees were related to correspondence with planners.
The Domino complex wasn't included in the city's rezoning of the Greenpoint/Williamsburg waterfront in 2005. Critics say the area can't handle the extra residents the project would bring, but many officials support the plan, since it would create 660 affordable housing units.