Developers unveil plan to replace South Street Seaport mall

December 16, 2011 02:04PM

Howard Hughes CEO David Weinreb and Pier 17

South Street Seaport leaseholder Howard Hughes Corp. unveiled plans to the local community board to replace the mall that currently sits on Pier 17 with a three-story glass retail building. According to the Tribeca Tribune, the community walked away impressed with the plan — but aware that a taller tower will likely follow.

“You can’t just be doing one building without knowing what your master plan is for the rest of the pier,” said John Fratta, chair of Community Board 1’s Seaport Committee. “I’m willing to bet there is going to be a high-rise in the future.”

But without available financing there was no mention of the tower. Instead, Howard Hughes and project architect SHoP Architects showed off an open ground-floor, a mezzanine and a third floor with unique shops and restaurants. Unlike the generic mall that sits on the pier today, the new structure would have sweeping views of the water, and according to community board members, would leave visitors with a better sense that they are at the Seaport. (The plans were not made available to the public.)

Under the plan, Howard Hughes would also replace the sand behind the former Water Taxi Beach with trees and benches to create a more park-like public space. The firm hopes to complete the project in 2014. [Tribeca Trib]