Community Board 1 voted last month to support a Howard Hughes Corporation proposal on Pier 17 in the South Street Seaport District. While the city’s land use process is still not finalized, the existing agreement with the city’s Economic Development Corporation has a mandatory construction start date set for July 1st .
During the havoc wreaked on Lower Manhattan by Hurricane Sandy, Pier 17 in South Street Seaport’s shopping district was largely spared. Its ability to dodge much of the Hurricane Sandy water damage, that devastated the rest of Lower Manhattan, is due to its sitting three feet above the pier, which itself was constructed a considerable height above the water.
This ability to dodge water damage from future storms has given the pier leaseholder, the Howard Hughes Corporation, a green light on development. According to the New York Times, Howard Hughes is moving forward with its plans to remodel the marketplace in an open-style three-story retail and entertainment complex. In addition to Pier 17, the Howard Hughes company controls 170,000 square feet of real estate inland at the seaport.
Deeper into the plans for Renovation
After earlier concerns about the pier’s structural integrity, inspectors from Halcrow, a London-based engineering firm hired by Howard Hughes, recently determined that the structure was sound. The pier is south of the Brooklyn Bridge, just beyond Fulton Street.
The Howard Hughes Corporation is hoping that the proposed renovation will bring back much of the sexiness that the seaport has loss with residential New Yorkers over the last 15 years. The new structure proposed for Pier 17 is expected to optimize its waterfront location, giving guests expansive views of the Brooklyn bridge and of outdoor space on both sides of the pier. The remodeling of Pier 17 will be completed by SHoP Architects.
The retail plans outlined for the space include a premier food market and performance space. However, much speculation remains on the big name anchor retailers which will be needed to carry the space and provide viable competition in the new retail going in at the Fulton Street train hub, the World Financial Center and the World Trade Center PATH station.