The Real Deal New York

Bloomberg’s Seaport City is high-end scam: FiDi panel

September 11, 2013 08:59AM

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A rendering of SeaPort City and Michael Bloomberg (inset)

A rendering of SeaPort City and Michael Bloomberg (inset)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed Seaport City is really nothing more than a luxury development scheme masquerading as a storm shield for Lower Manhattan, according to the community board for the Financial District.

Members of Community Board 3 leveled the charge against Bloomberg last night at a panel that discussed the plan for the neighborhood modeled after Battery Park City. Their skepticism has been fueled by Bloomberg himself, who describes the multibillion-dollar project as an economic development tool as well as a protection against furious weather, the Lo-Down reported.

The New York City Economic Development Corp. is moving forward with a feasibility study for the development, which would be just south of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Dan Zarrilli, the city’s resiliency director, told the board members that plans for the new neighborhood are preliminary and assured them that the city has no preconceived notions about the project. Still, his words did nothing to appease long-term community activists.

“You come here and it’s the fear” of another disaster, said David McWater, co-chair of CB3′s land use committee. “The only way to deal with (rising sea waters) is to build luxury housing” and to say to “the little people who got hurt in (Hurricane Sandy), the billionaire (developers) are coming in. It sticks in my craw.”

Board Chairperson Gigi Li pointed out that any revenue from Seaport City would go into a general city fund and would not directly benefit the are. [Lo-Down]  – Hiten Samtani

  • donationguru

    Using Scam is the wrong word here….what are we going to do? Give this land for low income housing like we did in Lower East Side already?…We need luxury developments…they actually pay bills. The low income housing can go to higher land, which is in northern Manhattan above 125th Street

    • mwilford

      Just like seaport city this also a very insensitive approach. There needs to be new types of land use in the Financial District. It will create new identities there and help to activate the waters edge creating a more dynamic water front. You’re basically saying that all low income people should be segregated from the upper middle class of Manhattan.

  • Hmmmm

    donationguru – we have over 1 million “affordable housing” units in NYC. There are only 3 million units total. Isn’t 1/3rd of all units more than enough? The last thing NYC needs is more “affordable housing.”
    We need lower rents and that is best accomplished by building significant amounts of market rate apartments.

    • Crian Bashman

      You realize that if the land was free (which it is not) and construction costs were at a $250 per square foot (low end of the spectrum) it would cost almost $3,000 a month for a 800 sf rental. No ideological skewing here, just facts.

      • Hmmmm

        Your math is wrong.

        • Crian Bashman

          How so?

        • Crian Bashman

          The silence is deafening.

      • donationguru

        a 800 SF rental is equivalen to a 2 bedroom… so $1500/month isnt bad

        • Crian Bashman

          Remember, that is with the land being free. Add in land costs and you are increasing that number significantly. Also, to pay $3,000 a month in rent that requires a gross income of $120,000. Sure 2 young people might be able to split that and live, but what about the public school teacher / office manager married couple with their 3 year old son? That isn’t really affordable for them even at no land cost.


    Please correct your article. CB3 has NOTHING to do with the Financial District. FiDi is in District 1. I was at the Financial District CB1 meeting on Monday night and this was not discussed at all! I love the idea of Seaport City and think it merits discussion.

    • mwilford

      It has been discussed at several CB1 meetings. The majority of the CB1 participants are also against Seaport City. Most people think that there needs to be improvements along the water front but Seaport City doesn’t represent progress for CB1 and CB3. Also, the low-income housing that they are offering really isn’t for low – income people.

  • Oouch

    Mass transit made NYC what it became in the 20th Cent. Subways and tunnels are especially vulnerable to the issue of flooding. That also impacts our water and sanitary sewage systems. So let’s not get simplistic. This is a multi-billion dollar problem we’re facing.


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