Does a developer have any obligation to undo the ills of the past?
That was the rather existential debate that took place at the Landmarks Preservation Commission earlier this month, as commissioners debated the merits of a proposal to transform Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport. While the designs by SHoP Architects were roundly applauded, and ultimately won unanimous approval, many commissioners lamented the fact that the current mall was being replaced with a new one, rather than something less commercial or even nothing at all, just a wide-open public pier.
“There’s lots of proof in Manhattan that a shopping mall never works, but nevertheless, there’s a developer who insists they have the right formula for this shopping mall to finally work, so I guess within the context of that, then the question really is—is the architecture appropriate for the Seaport?” commissioner Margery Perlmutter said.
Commissioner Fred Bland felt so strongly about the issue, including the destruction of the notable-for-its-time Ben Thompson-designed mall, that he had composed his comments earlier that day, something he said had only happened twice before in his four years on the commission (for St. Vincent’s and “for the infamous mosque”).
Howard Hughes Corp. is set to reveal its plans for the renovation of Pier 17 at South Street Seaport, according to Crain’s. The plans will first have to get the all clear from Landmarks Preservation Commission, which oversees the seaport historic district, and it is hoped the plans will be submitted sometime in the first half of 2012.
The bid faced opposition in the past from the commission when it was presented by General Growth three years ago, prior to the massive mall operator’s bankruptcy.
The news keeps trickling out about the redevelopment of the South Street Seaport, now that the Howard Hughes Corp. has spun off from the no-longer-bankrupt General Growth Properties. The new company, led by wily Bill Ackman, was created pretty much for the explicit purpose of redeveloping a number of nascent mixed-use projects General Growth Read More
General Growth Properties plans for the South Street Seaport appeared sunk when the retail giant filed for bankruptcy last year. All was not lost at sea, though, as lead architect Gregg Pasquarelli, of SHoP Architects, told The Observer back in September: “We assume the Seaport will be going forward at some point. We Read More
At today’s Atlantic Yards announcement, the Real Estate Desk asked Gregg Pasquarelli, who unveiled a new plaza for the Barclays Center, what the status was with another of his firm’s projects, the South Street Seaport. Mr. Pasquarelli noted that the project’s owner, General Growth Properties, is still negotiating its way out of bankruptcy, Read More