Wednesday, September 12, 2012

South Street Seaport Rebuild Gets Green Light

Howard Hughes Development Corp., the firm that leases the South Street Seaport, announced that it has reached an agreement with the New York City Economic Development Corp. for a major, three-year revamp of Pier 17, which include plans for a glass-enclosed retail center, a rooftop concert space and more. Construction of approximately 195,000 square feet of new leasable space is expected to start in 2013 and be completed by 2015.

The red, boxy Pier 17 building at South Street Seaport will be getting a modern makeover. City officials have reached an agreement with developer Howard Hughes Corp. to redevelop the building.

The contemporary design calls for a glass-enclosed mall and larger open spaces on the pier that juts out onto the East River, as well as on the building’s roof.

Howard Hughes CEO David Weinreb said the revamped pier will transform the Seaport into "an energetic, highly engaging destination for shopping, dining and entertainment in lower Manhattan."

The plan has been approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, with the support of Community Board 1, according to a statement released by the real estate company. Construction is expected to start next year and to conclude by 2015.

Howard Hughes Corp. plans a "complete transformation" of Pier 17, including adding a glass-enclosed retail center, new architecture and a rooftop space that could be used for concerts and other live-entertainment events, the statement said.

Late last year, representatives from the company and their designer, SHoP Architects, met with members of Manhattan Community Board 1 to show them renderings and to discuss development options.

"As lower Manhattan continues to grow and thrive, the reimagined Pier 17, along with the new Pier 15 and East River Waterfront Esplanade, will present New Yorkers with an even better reason to explore and visit the South Street Seaport, said Seth Pinksy, president of the city Economic Development Corp., in the statement.

"We look forward to a day soon when Pier 17 will once again be viewed as one of the city's premier destinations."

Pier 17 was in the news in July when a fire broke out beneath the pier on the East River. None of the buildings or the pier suffered any significant damage. The project still needs to go through the city's Uniform Land Use review procedure, which include public hearings, but is widely expected to pass with little resistance.