A week after a court ruling removed a major obstacle for the redevelopment of South Street Seaport, New Yorkers got a first peak at what the new site could look like.
The New York Times reported that the Howard Hughes Corporation, which has leased the site from the city, plans to build a 50-story hotel and apartment tower, reconstruct the Tin Building and add a marina.
Renderings show a sleek tower, designed by SHoP architects. It would stand at the waterfront next to the base of Pier 17, where Howard Hughes plans to build a new shopping mall. Hughes had released a new rendering of the mall, which will also be designed by SHoP, back in October.
Hughes’ CEO David Weinreb told the Times that rebuilding the rotting wooden piers and moving the Tin Building inland to meet safety standards alone would cost about $125 million. The plan also calls for the extension of streets to reach the piers.
It is far from certain that the plan will be implemented in its current form, as it still has to be approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission and the City Council. According to the Times, Howard Hughes did not want to publicize its plans just yet, but felt it had to react to local officials’ demands for more openness.
Meanwhile, the corporation gained a big victory in its attempt to tear down the mall on Pier 17 and build a new one. Two and a half months after the old mall was scheduled to close, a judge’s decision last week drew a final curtain on the food court at the Pier 17 mall.
A lone tenant, Simply Seafood, had been operating in the otherwise vacant mall, awaiting a court ruling on the validity of its lease, which the tenant claimed was valid through 2020.
But Judge Shlomo S. Agler ruled in favor of the landlordThursday, determining that the tenant had defaulted on its lease by under-reporting revenue to the landlord and was therefore not eligible to exercise its lease renewal option in 2008. “The Court’s Decision to eject Simply Seafood from Pier 17 and subsequent order speaks for itself,” Howard Hughes Corporation said in a statement. “While The Howard Hughes Corporation inherited this situation from the previous landlords, we are pleased that it has been resolved after a long and arduous process.
“The Pier 17 redevelopment project is moving ahead as planned, and we look forward to welcoming the neighborhood, New Yorkers and visitors back to a vibrant, community anchor that will benefit Lower Manhattan for years to come.”
The company plans to demolish the 1970s-era shopping center and replace it with a new, 300,000 s/f mall designed by SHoP Architects. The new mall is expected to open in early 2016.