The future of the proposed South Street Seaport revitalization project is uncertain, the Wall Street Journal reported. The culprit: Hurricane Sandy, whose landfall in Lower Manhattan not only damaged the South Street Seaport Museum, but also could have damaged Pier 17, where Howard Hughes Corp. is planning a redesigned mall.
Now that the site is closed, and could be closed for two years with construction, retailers could get cold feet in signing leases and the site may have problems getting visitors, real estate experts told the Journal. “People have a short time span to remember,” Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of Douglas Elliman’s retail group, told the Journal. “When they remember the Seaport, they’ll remember all those stores being closed.”
Howard Hughes maintains that the Sandy damage will not affect the company’s redevelopment schedule, which is pending approval. Divers are now examining piles underneath the pier to assess whether they sustained damage. The pier’s mall did not flood, a Howard Hughes spokesperson told the Journal. If the pier is found to be damage-free, then the area can open before the end of the year. [WSJ] – Zachary Kussin