Thursday, November 21, 2013

Tall order for the South Street Seaport

From the NY Times:

South Street Seaport, an often-neglected corner of Manhattan dedicated to enshrining New York’s seafaring past, has been battered by storms, recessions and poor management.

Now, there is a proposal for a major redevelopment of the cobblestone streets, 19th-century brick buildings and piers that would include the reconstruction of the landmark Tin Building and the addition of a marina and a 50-story hotel and apartment tower.

The Howard Hughes Corporation, which controls the seaport under a lease with the city, says it wants to enliven the area and establish a destination for both tourists and New Yorkers.

It is unclear how a glassy tower on the north side of Pier 17 would fit into the historical fabric of the area, but Howard Hughes contends that the building would be the “economic engine” that would allow for the rehabilitation of the crumbling piers and nearby buildings.

The proposal, the company said, will include a still-to-be-determined rescue plan for the financially ailing Seaport Museum, and the sailing ships at Pier 17, which are slowly sinking into the East River.

“The re-envisioned seaport district will transform the piers’ iconic waterfront setting into a vibrant, highly engaging area,” said David R. Weinreb, chief executive of Howard Hughes, “while providing a critical catalyst for the revitalization of Lower Manhattan.”

The company is to unveil its preliminary plan for the first time on Tuesday to local residents and members of Community Board 1, which includes the seaport.

Howard Hughes, which would triple the size of its operations, had hoped to continue negotiating in secret with the city’s Economic Development Corporation while it completed its proposal. But demands by local officials and residents for a more open design process forced the company to make the plans public.

The company’s proposal must be approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission and the City Council before construction can start.


Jerry Rotondi said...

Yeah--build a tower of Babel right on the water's edge.

Has NYC learn anything post Sandy?
Could the "architect" have sited the building further into the river?

Honestly--some folks don't appear to have enough brains to fill a thimble!

Are taxpayers going to be burdened with the owner's flood relief cost, when the first 2 floors get sloshed by a big storm?

Anonymous said...

Maybe we just ought to fill in all our waterways to build more "luxury" housing.

We're running outta land you settlers.

Anonymous said...

Manhattan is getting 3 buildings in harms way. Queens 30.

When the shit hits guess who gets remediation and guess who will just have to deal with it.

Anonymous said...

I do not understand why the waterfront groups don't make a stink about stuff like this.

Everyone knows that waterfront development will be a big time disaster.

Shows their 'green' funding comes from developers.

Anonymous said...

I say if they get to build a commercial property like that over water - with no reason whatsoever for being on top of the water - then open up every inch of the waterfront up to similar commercial development. There's no reason to single out a block between Fulton and Beekman. Hell, build an entire new New York City on a concrete slab an inch above the mean high tide.