NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The deal to turn the old Domino Sugar plant on Williamsburg’s waterfront into gleaming apartment towers, offices and open space is moving ahead.

As WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported, the relic of the city’s industrial past is crumbling on Brooklyn’s now-invaluable waterfront.

“This is an impressive achievement,” City Planning Commission Chair Carl Weisbrod said. “An economically healthy, mixed-income neighborhood of the future.”

The commission signed off on the new administration’s first big development deal. The de Blasio administration got more affordable housing units added to the final deal.

“We’re elated that we came to a solution,” said Dave Lombino with the developer, Two Trees Management Co. “How sweet it is.”

Outside, workers demanded that Two Trees use only union labor to transform the 2.9 million square foot sugar refinery.

“We have families and we love what we do so we want to keep it that way,” protester Tammy Rivera told Silverman.

“Two Trees has had a history of not always working with all the unions and we just want to ensure that there aren’t some people on the job who are paid one standard of wages and then another set of people on the job who are less than to that,” John Skinner of the iron workers union said.

“We employ a variety of construction firms, union firms, non-union firms, at all of our projects and we’re proud of the good jobs we create,” Lombino said. “We’ll look at every qualified bidder.”

The iconic Domino sugar sign will survive the redevelopment, Silverman reported.

If the City Council approves the plan, work on the project could start by the end of the year.

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