The Real Deal New York

Developer, officials still disagree on South Street Seaport tower

Howard Hughes Corporation says it cannot scale back the proposed residential building any more

November 21, 2014 09:05AM

From left: a rendering of the South Street Seaport, David Weinreb and Margaret Chin

From left: a rendering of the South Street Seaport, David Weinreb and Margaret Chin

The Howard Hughes Corporation and local elected officials are still at odds about a proposed residential skyscraper near the South Street Seaport.

Even though the developer recently scaled back its plans for a tower there — from 52 stories to 42 stories or from 650 feet tall to 494 feet tall — in anticipation of a public meeting earlier this week, councilwoman Margaret Chin and Borough President Gale Brewer are still opposed to the development, according to Capital New York.

Howard Hughes’ Chief Executive Officer David Weinreb, however, said that there are no alternatives. The current plans for the tower, he told reporters this week, are the smallest it can be while keeping the scope of the project in tact. The tower is supposed to subsidize the infrastructure and other improvements, according to Capital. The only other alternative for the developer, according to the website, is to abandon the plan altogether.

“We’re going to need something more to give more,” the developer told Capital. “We’ve put everything on the table that we have.”

The developer proposed the newest version of the $305 million plan that will include infrastructure and public benefit investments as well as the tower, which will have luxury apartments. The project would also include a public middle school, an extension of the East River Esplanade, a new marina that would fit tall ships as well as the restoration of the Tin Building.

“We’re not opposed to the tower,” Brewer told Capital, “we’re just opposed to it in that location.” [Capital NY] — Claire Moses

  • ralphpetrillo

    Is this the Hoard Hughes foundation trying to build for profit while maintaining special tax status. Seems unfair with respect to tax status. Don’t they have a tax exempt status for their funds? Seems in conflict with real estate development for profit.

    • David Brown

      Howard Hughes Company is not a foundation but a publicly traded real estate developer. It is a historic descendant of the Las Vegas land holding accumulated

      by Howard Hughes in the 1940s.

  • jfcatowner

    This is like the Emperor’s New Clothes. David Weinreb of Howard Hughes is in town, giving interviews to the NY Times, but not inviting Downtownpostnyc.com to its presentation of Seaport ‘s Master Plans. Mr. Weinreb and his exec vice pres, Chris Currry, in HHC, is claiming to “preserve and save the South Street Seaport Museum, by building it a new building of 5,000 sq feet; “; as they told the Seaport Working Group on Nov. 19th. This is robbery, as HHC is planning on EVICTING the museum from its building, its restored Schermerhorn Row 1810-12 building, with its total of 40,000 sq feet of used space for administrative, collection, exhibition and library space. also on Water St. The purpose of this eviction is to put 60-70 units of affordable housing in this building, plus a “connected one, at John and South St.” This is outrageous. And it is done with the collusion and conflict of interest of the landlord of the Museum’s properties, the Economic Development Corporation, of the City of New York.
    The Attorney General might be interested in investigating this especial lease,with its self serving, secretive purposes. These are against the public interest,

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