WIP’s financing model would differ significantly from the Tate, which receives substantial support from the British government. But WIP plan supporters say that their project would sustain itself with income generated in several ways: from the sale of gallery space, marina boatslips, and parking spaces to be located underneath the affordable housing; from the rental of event space; and from tickets sales for admission to the art exhibits and other events inside the historic Domino factory building. Stephanie Eisenberg, a local resident involved in the alternative plan, argues that CPCR’s New Domino plan will cost the city more in the long run due to the infrastructure upgrades, including expanded transportation and sewer systems, that will be required to support the influx of new residents. “Our [WIP] plan won’t be a burden to the government but will pay its own way,” she said, adding that any development at the Domino site should benefit all parts of the surrounding community. “We’re proposing a cultural center that will be an economic engine for the neighborhood and provide living wage jobs.”
One unusual aspect of the WIP plan is a proposed gallery-condo model. Based on a statistic that over 90 percent of private art collections sit in storage, WIP is banking on art collectors’ desire to go public with their acquisitions, purchasing gallery space where they can curate their own exhibitions and art-related events on the waterfront site, which would be accessible by boat. Eisenberg said art collectors approached by WIP have already expressed interest in buying gallery space, and, with regard to the bigger picture, several potential but unconfirmed backers are interested in buying the entire site from CPCR.
With the city’s efforts to revitalize the Brooklyn waterfront, if the WIP plan can secure funding, it may be able to rally political support. Steve Levin, the city councilman representing Brooklyn’s 33rd district which includes the Domino site, dropped opposition to CPCR’s plan in 2010, but in a recent interview he expressed concern that the plan was still too big to be supported by existing neighborhood infrastructure. When asked about the alternative plan of the cultural hub, Levin said, “If another group has another idea, it’s worth hearing about it. There are a lot of potential development scenarios at the site.”