Community blasts South Street Seaport tower plans

November 20, 2013 04:45PM

Howard Hughes Corporation pitched its plan to Redevelop The South Street Seaport waterfront with a 50-story tower, only to face hisses and jeers from Lower Manhattan residents.

At issue at a Community Board 1 hearing last night were the developer’s plans to replace the abandoned Fulton Fish Market warehouses with a hybrid apartment and hotel tower that area residents said was woefully out-of-sync with the neighborhood’s low-rise 19th-century buildings, DNAinfo reported.

Howard Hughes released its plans for the market overhaul yesterday, right away igniting fears that the structure will obstruct views and be an eyesore.

“The nature of this historic neighborhood is small-scale buildings,” Paul Kefer, a longtime resident, said during the meeting. “It just doesn’t fit.”

“It’s gross!” another attendee added.

Christopher Curry, a Howard Hughes senior executive, faced the crowd along with Gregg Pasquarelli of SHoP Architects, which is designing the project, and attempted to reassure residents that the proposal was “very preliminary.”

The Seaport Museum is to remain, they told residents, adding that the luxury tower would be necessary to allow the firm to offset its costs.

“It is a very difficult process to try and think about how to move this to the next step,” Pasquarelli told DNAinfo. “We want to be incredibly transparent.” [DNAinfo]Julie Strickland