November 22th, 2014
Howard Hughes Corp is back at the Seaport but this time with a new idea. This past week the company released updated plans for the redevelopment of the historic South Street Seaport district, according to Crain's New York. The new plan downsizes the originally proposed residential tower by 150 feet. On Thursday, SHoP Architects, the architectural firm behind the designs, released the new renderings for the proposed project at the South Street Seaport. The redevelopment plans aim to turn the Seaport into a retail and events destination. The plans call for the restoration of several historic buildings, and to also bring a marina and public esplanade to the area.
The redevelopment of the South Street Seaport district has been an ongoing debate in the neighborhood for years. It's expected to not only bring significant and needed infrastructure upgrades, but also new economic opportunies for the neighborhood. "Our plan preserves the historic district, repairs crumbling infrastructure and delivers the benefits the community has called for," said Chief Executive David Weinreb of the Howard Hughes Corp .
The new plan calls for a residential tower that will rise to 42 stories instead of 52. The new plan calls for roughly 60 affordable apartments. The affordable apartments will be in a separate but renovated new building. The updated plan includes $300 million worth of community benefits including a new middle school, money to fund the Seaport Museum, and money to maintain the historic ships docked along the pier
The plan still doesn't have full support though. "Building a tower at the South Street Seaport is like building a tower at Colonial Williamsburg," said Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, who called for a subsequent meeting of the working group in the coming weeks to discuss Howard Hughes' updated plan. City Councilwoman Margaret Chin that represents the neighborhood also disagrees with the new proposal. Plans for the retail and event destination at the Seaport have already been approved. The residential tower still faces obstacles and will need to go through the city's land use process before being approved.