When Hurricane Sandy’s flood waters receded from Lower Manhattan, the sense of relief was short-lived for the businesses, residents and non-profits who returned to find their buildings waterlogged and severely damaged. The South Street Seaport Museum, with an estimated $22 million in damage, was among the more tragically doused.
That all the Museum’s historic boats and exhibits escaped basically unscathed was a consolation, certainly, but the Museum could hardly show them to anyone without heat, electricity, elevators or escalators.
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
So Bill Ackman’s not gonna wind up with Stuyvesant Town, even if he’ll still probably make his money back. That won’t stop him. Whatever Wily Bill wants, Wily Bill gets. If it happens to be a development site somewhere on the southeastern side of Manhattan, then so be it, Bill will find Read More
Indebted REIT General Growth Properties has hired a London-based brokerage to market the South Street Seaport, along with two other retail hubs in Boston and Baltimore.
General Growth, the nation’s second-largest mall owner, had planned to redeveloped the Seaport. A large amount of debt accumulated during the real estate boom–as well as local opposition Read More
From the Wall Street Journal this morning:
[General Growth Properties] completed $896 million of mortgage loans used to retire a $58 million bond that matured Thursday and refinance $814 million in mortgage loans maturing next year. General Growth said the loans are separate from the $900 million in debt backed by two of its Read More
General Growth Properties reportedly has until Friday to reach an agreement regarding $900 million in debt, casting further doubt on the firm’s plans to redevelop the South Street Seaport and, to a lesser extent, its plans to take part in a $700 million mixed-use development in East Harlem.
“I guess the entire community is Read More
Mall maker and owner General Growth Properties got the nod in the summer to redevelop the South Street Seaport with an ambitious vision that included an apartment/hotel tower, a new retail complex and a boutique hotel. In the early autumn, the city tapped General Growth to lead the development of a massive mixed-use, Read More