Introducing: A pop up market with pay-what-you-wish rent

In some long-forgotten neighborly tradition of years past, it was customary to greet new neighbors with a gift. A quiche, a cake, an array of vegan spices. But we live in different times now, and not everyone’s got time for home-baked tokens of goodness. Two Trees Management, new developer of the Domino Sugar Factory is turning the tables on this old tradition. They told the Brooklyn Paper that they’ll offer a space for temporary businesses to set up shop in the lot across from their Williamsburg future housing development. Even better: tenants can “pay what they can afford,” according to Two Trees. Maybe we’ll get a new DeKalb Market?

Two Trees, who are also taking credit for the creative development of DUMBO, are looking to make a good impression on the locals before embarking on a huge housing and retail project that will take up nearly the entire block of Kent Avenue between South Third and South Fourth streets. When asked what kind of business he envisioned taking up the space, Two Trees director Dave Lombino answered, “art or recreation or a market or food,” so it’s pretty much all up for grabs here.

Proposals are due on January 31, so aspiring tenants should start getting a move on. The winning bidder’s project will open in March, and the new business owner will need to cover a security deposit, insurance, taxes, cleaning and “other fees.”

Is it possible we eventually grouse about Two Trees as a grubby corporate neighbor bent on developing the area into a high-priced condo haven? Possibly. But giving independent local businesses a shot at the big time is a favor not many companies can boast, and it’s better than immediately turning things over to an Applebee’s.

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