Developer, officials still disagree on South Street Seaport tower

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

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.

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“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